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Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood defends controversial Mexican week

The episode was deemed disrespectful for its take on Mexican cuisine

Paul Hollywood (Credit: Getty Images)
Paul Hollywood has defended GBBO's Mexican week. (Getty Images)

Paul Hollywood has defended The Great British Bake Off's Mexican week after last year's controversial episode.

A series 13 episode saw the contestants tasked with creating Mexican themed bakes but received much backlash as it was branded insensitive and inappropriate as it featured several Mexican stereotypes and many dishes were not authentic, nor pronounced correctly.

Read more: Dame Prue Leith says there was 'no intention to offend' with 'Bake Off' Mexican week

Following the controversy, the producers of The Great British Bake Off announced the show would no longer feature nation-themed weeks.

Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Alison Hammond, and Paul Hollywood - The Great British Bake Off 2023 (Channel 4)
Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Alison Hammond, and Paul Hollywood - The Great British Bake Off team. (Channel 4)

But addressing the fallout in a new interview with Time, Hollywood, who is a judge on the programme, has defended the content of the Mexican week episode.

Asked about the criticism, Hollywood said: "I spoke to a couple of friends of mine. The ones I spoke to, none of them were offended. I think most of the people who were offended weren’t even Mexican, which I found quite strange."

He continued: "Because there’s not a bad bone in Bake Off’s body. I was in Mexico filming a month before I started the series that year. And I spent a month traveling around working with amazing Mexican chefs. And that’s where some of the challenges came from. They came from a good place, never a bad place."

Josh, Abbi, Rowan, Cristy, Amos, Saku, Keith, Nicky, Matty, Tasha, Dan, Dana. The Great British Bake Off 2023 (Channel 4)
The cast of the new season of The Great British Bake Off. (Channel 4)

Prue Leith, who is also a judge on the show, has previously addressed the controversy.

Making similar comments to Hollywood, Leith said: “There would have been absolutely no intention to offend. That’s not the spirit of the show.”

The episode opened with hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas wearing ponchos and sombreros and making a Spanish-language themed joke.

The show will soon be returning for another season, but Lucas has left as co-host and has since been replaced by This Morning presenter Alison Hammond.

The Great British Bake Off begins on 26 October on Channel 4.

Watch below: Prue Leith is 'really glad' Alison Hammond is joining The Great British Bake Off.