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Paul Hollywood reflects on the ‘horrendous’ side of fame

Paul Hollywood has spoken about the ‘horrendous’ downsides of fame (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)
Paul Hollywood has spoken about the ‘horrendous’ downsides of fame (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has said fame is “horrendous,” after more than a decade on the amateur baking show.

The 56-year-old celebrity chef has been a judge on the amateur baking competition show since its launch in 2010.

Speaking to the Radio Times about whether fame has been a positive experience, Hollywood said: “No, it’s horrendous.

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
Hollywood with fellow The Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

“I’ve always fought against the word ‘celebrity’, anyway. Right up to the age of 40, there was no way I thought I was ever going to be on telly.

“This came out of nowhere, and you have to adapt to it.

“There’s no school to go to learn how to deal with the press, or your day-to-day life, and how to block it off without going crazy and getting upset. You can’t.

“You just have to grow a very thick skin. Now I’ve got a skin like a crocodile.”

The Great British Bake Off launched on BBC Two, remaining on the channel for four series.

After gaining popularity, it moved to BBC One for the following three series.

In 2017 the programme transferred to Channel 4 and, despite the departure of fellow original judge Mary Berry, Hollywood went with the show.

Chef and restaurateur Prue Leith replaced Berry to judge alongside Hollywood.

Despite the difficulties Hollywood has encountered after gaining notoriety as a result of the show, he remains positive about its future, and has no doubt about what makes it popular.

“I always knew we were just the frame; the bakers are the picture,” he said.

“People like to hear what we have to say about them, but it’s always the bakers and their bakes that take centre-stage.

“I hope it does what MasterChef has done, which is just bumble on for years, after I’ve hung up my star baker apron.

“I’ve done hundreds of challenges in 13 years, and we’re nowhere near the end.”

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