Belfast Telegraph

Paul Hollywood: ‘I caught the last 20 minutes of Bake Off’

He said he doesn’t like seeing himself on TV.

Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has said he only watched the last 20 minutes of the show when it made its debut on Channel 4 on Tuesday night.

The series returned to TV screens with a new line-up, following months of feverish anticipation.

Hollywood, 51, told Sara Cox on BBC Radio 2 that he did not like seeing himself on TV.

“People were sending me texts saying they were enjoying the show last night,” he said.

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Paul Hollywood (Ian West/PA)

“I caught the last 20 minutes of it last night. I was there so I didn’t need to watch the whole thing.

“But it was great, all the reaction has been very, very positive, which is great news.”

Asked about not sitting down for the full episode, he said: “I sort of know (what it looks like) but, to be honest, I don’t like watching myself on telly so I flit in and out, grab a cup of tea.”

He promised: “Next week we have biscuit week and some of the things they produce in that are spectacular.”

Prue Leith replaced Mary Berry as a judge, while Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig are on presenting duties, but fans were divided about the new line-up, while some also grumbled about the advert breaks.

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Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with Noel Fielding

Hollywood said: “It’s about the bakes. (The bakers and the bakes) are the stars of the show and always have been for eight seasons.

“When people watched it last night they realised that the bakers are the proper stars of the show.”

The judge, who moved with the hit series when it left the BBC, said he had to “raise the bar a little bit on the handshakes”.

Viewers saw him give out two handshakes – his highest form of praise – to two contestants.

“I gave out two handshakes … I was giving them out and thinking this is ridiculous,” he said.

He added: “There’s a lot more people baking now than there was nine years ago. That’s a good thing … If we get people baking then Bake Off’s done its job and I think it’s worked over the last few years.”

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