Belfast Telegraph

Paul Hollywood: 'Channel 4 move hasn't affected my Bake Off friendships'

Paul Hollywood has promised the format of beloved programme The Great British Bake Off won't change when it moves from the BBC to Channel 4 next year (17).

Paul Hollywood insists his decision to move with The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4 hasn't affected his friendships with Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc.

It was revealed earlier this year (16) that Paul was the only member of the original quartet to be going with the programme after the BBC lost a bidding war against Channel 4 for the show.

He came under fire from many fans who felt he should have stood alongside his television family and stayed at the BBC, but speaking about his decision for the first time on The Jonathan Ross Show, airing on Saturday night (10Dec16), Paul said he is still on good terms with fellow judge Mary and presenters Sue and Mel - who all opted to stay at the BBC.

"I was with Mary last weekend and we did a couple of demos up in Birmingham and the press like to cover the story that we’ve somehow fallen out," Paul said. "We’ll always be mates, I was with her last weekend, we had such a giggle. Why would it, how could it (affect our relationship?)... She will always be my TV mother as well as Mel and Sue will be my sisters, we are like a dysfunctional family."

Paul also said he wouldn't have tried to influence any of his former co-workers to go with him to Channel 4 because "ultimately it was our own decisions". However, he admitted that as he explained his choice to Mary, the 81-year-old domestic goddess said she would have made the same call if she was younger.

"I think ultimately when I told Mary I was going to stay with the show, she said ‘Listen, if I was your age, I would do exactly the same thing’," he explained. "I think that’s just the way it is at the time. I love doing my job, I really do and it’s like anybody, if anyone can put their hand on their heart and say you would actually leave your job if someone was going to pay you a little bit more money to move on and do the same job in the same tent and I had to stay.

"I’ve got a family and I’m just coming to the end of my career I suppose, I’m 50 odd, I haven’t got long left. I’m not going to last like Mary, 81. I’ll never last until I’m 81 but while it’s here, I will carry on doing my job as a judge on The Great British Bake Off.”

There has been much speculation about what changes will be made to the show when it makes the move to Channel 4. But Paul insisted the format will largely remain the same.

"The Bake Off won’t change in the sense that the format will stay exactly the same, the tent will stay the same, the challenges and really the bakers (will not change)...," he promised. "Ultimately it comes down to when the bakers get in the tent next year, then it will be a special thing."

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