Belfast Telegraph

Paul Hollywood: Me, a sex symbol?

Paul Hollywood can't even go for a swim at his local pool without getting "stared at" by adoring fans.

The Great British Bake Off star has won plenty of female fans with his piercing blue eyes and silver fox hair. But while they tune in to BBC One at 8pm every Wednesday just to catch a glimpse at him, Paul is scratching his head in amazement.

“It’s very flattering - but I’m just a normal fat bloke from the north," he marvelled to British newspaper The Sun.

“I find it embarrassing just going to a swimming pool, because I get stared at.

“I can’t even walk into a fast-food shop without it happening. I’m still not used to it.”

Paul, 49, and fellow judge Mary Berry, 80, are known for being very critical of the contestants and their bakes, often pulling them up on their soggy bottoms and lack of layers. Even when Paul is just enjoying a pastry in his downtime he can't help but cast a judge's eye over it.

“My guilty pleasure is ring doughnuts with a lemon icing glaze and a little bit of lime on the top. I love checking out local village bakeries — although I often find myself being critical!” he laughed.

The combo of Paul and Mary is part of what makes the show so popular. But do they get on just as well away from the cameras?

“If I’m in London or passing her house, I’ll pop in and see her," he said.

“We can usually be found sitting drinking cups of tea.

“We have a huge respect for each other, which comes across on camera. It’s affection.”

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From Belfast Telegraph