Belfast Telegraph

Hollywood 'bribed to become baker'

Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has revealed how he had to be bribed by his father to quit his studies and become a baker.

The star, who features alongside Mary Berry on the hit BBC show, told Radio 4's Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young that he actually wanted to be an artist when he was a young man.

He said: "I was in art school and had long hair and velvet jackets and I quite enjoyed art, sculpture and all that stuff, and I ended up doing an O-level in sculpture and I thought I could really take this further and my dad approached me and said, 'Son, come and join the industry' and he said 'I'll give you five hundred quid' and in the Eighties that was a lot of money, so I went from hair down to my chest to shaved literally overnight."

Hollywood, who reportedly had a brief affair with his co-host on the US version of the show, said he took "years" to get used to the idea of being famous.

Asked about the story, he said: "Anyone that can sit there and say, 'no, I'd deal with that, that's dead easy'.

"It's not, because it plays with your head, it plays with everything. I was upset, I mean I was really upset."

Hollywood, who chose two pillows as his luxury item and a pork pie as his "desert island dish", said Berry offers to iron his shirts while they are filming.

He said: "She is like my mother, she acts like my mother, and I do treat her like my mum."

Among his musical choices were Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb, George Harrison's My Sweet Lord and Jesus To A Child by George Michael.

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