Belfast Telegraph

Paul Hollywood stayed with The Great British Bake Off for the crew not the cash

Paul Hollywood has insisted his loyalty to The Great British Bake Off crew was one of the main reasons he stayed with the show amid its move to Channel 4.

Paul Hollywood has insisted he didn't just follow the money when he agreed to reprise his judging role The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4.

The silver fox attracted criticism when it was revealed that while his fellow judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins stayed with the BBC after the network's fierce bidding war with Channel 4 over rights to the show, Paul had signed up to star in the Channel 4 revamp.

However, while it had been speculated that Paul had been offered a huge fee to stay with the show, he has now admitted in an interview with the TV Times that his loyalty to the crew was one of the main reasons he wanted to continue on Bake Off.

"There can be as many as 100 people working behind the scenes and it's the same people every year," he told the magazine. "I'm always very loyal to those I work with. I am on screen but we are all part of the team."

Paul's fellow judge on the new Bake Off version has yet to be revealed, but it is widely rumoured to be cooking veteran Prue Leith.

Despite the cast being different for the Channel 4 show, Paul is looking forward to seeing how the programme goes down with viewers.

"Now (that the new series) is approaching, I am getting excited. Chapter one has finished, the ride was amazing and now chapter two is about to start," he smiled.

It was recently claimed that Prue had been offered a staggering three times more than her predecessor Mary to sign on the dotted line for the new series.

According to The Sun, bosses have pitched Prue a deal which would see her earn £200,000 for the series - significantly more than the £70,000 Mary and Paul were getting per series when the show was on the BBC.

"The BBC were really under-paying both Mary and Paul during their time on the show," a source told the publication.

“Bake Off had a relatively low budget which didn’t increase even as its popularity went through the roof. That meant the stars were left on very low salaries in relation to the show’s huge success.

"Prue will be on a lot of money but it’s not an unexpected amount for one of the main faces on a show as big as Bake Off to be earning."

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