Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood claims fame is 'horrendous'

·3-min read
Paul Hollywood
Paul Hollywood says his experience of fame has been horrendous. (Getty Images)

Paul Hollywood claims he has developed "skin like a crocodile" to cope with his "horrendous" experience of fame.

The 56-year-old baker entered the spotlight in 2010 after he became a judge on hit show The Great British Bake Off but he told the Radio Times his experience of fame had not been positive.

Hollywood said: "It’s horrendous. I’ve always fought against the word ‘celebrity’, anyway. Right up to the age of 40, there was no way I thought I was ever going to be on telly. This came out of nowhere, and you have to adapt to it.

“There’s no school to go to learn how to deal with the press, or your day-to-day life, and how to block it off without going crazy and getting upset. You can’t.

Read more: Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood working as pizza chef in girlfriend's pub

Paul Hollywood is part of The Great British Bake Off team on C4 with Prue Leith, Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding. (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4)
Paul Hollywood is part of The Great British Bake Off team on C4 with Prue Leith, Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding. (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4)

“You just have to grow a very thick skin. Now I’ve got a skin like a crocodile.”

Since he became a TV personality, Hollywood has experienced struggles in his personal life which have been scrutinised in the media.

The Bake Off judge split form his wife Alexandra in 2013 after Hollywood confessed to having an affair with Marcela Valladolid, his co-star on the US version of the baking show, The American Baking Competition.

The TV judge called the incident “the biggest mistake of my life”.

Paul Hollywood and his wife Alexandra arriving for the 2015 National Television Awards
Paul Hollywood split from his wife Alexandra after having an affair with his US Bake Off co-star. (PA)

He won his wife back two years later only to announce they had separated again in 2017 after almost 20 years together. Their divorce was granted on the grounds of adultery.

The second split came shortly after Hollywood was pictured sharing a kiss on the cheek with 2016 Bake Off winner Candice Brown.

In November 2017 the baker began dating waitress Summer Monteys-Fullam, who was 29 years his junior.

Summer Monteys-Fullam
Summer Monteys-Fullam said she was 'thrown under a bus' by the Great British Bake Off judge. (Getty Images)

They parted ways in 2019 after Monteys-Fullham refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement which would've prevented her from talking about the relationship in public.

She claimed she had been "thrown under the bus" and felt "betrayed" by Hollywood.

The Great British Bake Off launched on BBC Two in 2010 and was moved to a primetime slot on BBC One due to its popularity.

In 2017 it moved to Channel 4. Hollywood signed a deal to move with the show, but presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc and judge Mary Berry were replaced.

Paul Hollywood, Mel Giedroyc, Mary Berry and Sue Perkins arriving for the 2013 Bafta TV awards.
Paul Hollywood, Mel Giedroyc, Mary Berry and Sue Perkins were the original stars of Bake Off when it started on BBC Two in 2010. (PA)

Read more: Paul Hollywood cried after Bake Off moved to Channel 4

Perkins has said: "When we were there, Paul was really good fun - and stuff happened that made us incredibly sad and incredibly hurt.

“But he was always like family for years and years and years, and it’s painful when those things end, especially in the way that they did end.”

Watch: Why did Annie Mac's pronunciation of 'kneading' get Bake Off viewers talking?

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