Paul Hollywood defends his decisions amid criticism from Bake Off fans

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Paul Hollywood has defended the choices he makes on The Great British Bake Off, saying that critical viewers cannot taste and smell the creations.

Hollywood, who is a judge alongside Prue Leith on the baking programme, also said that he has received “something similar” to death threats due to some of the decisions he has made in the tent.

He told The Jonathan Ross Show: “I get a lot of people offering me a lot of advice on who should have stayed and who should have gone.

The Great British Bake Off presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
The Great British Bake Off presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)

“There are two senses that the people who watch don’t lock on to. We’ve got taste and smell and they are critical when you’re baking…

“On camera you look at the colours and the pretty pictures and you go ‘That must taste good’ when it tastes like rubber or too salty or too sweet.”

Asked about criticism he receives from fans, and referring to Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas’s recent revelation about being sent death threats online, Hollywood said: “I’ve had something similar so I understand.”

The latest series of the Bake Off ended last month, and saw David Atherton take the prize instead of previous favourite Steph Blackwell.

Hollywood said: “Steph was doing really well but of course, it’s like the FA Cup. You’ve got to bring the right team and you’ve got to have the mindset to smash it out of the park on that day.”

Hollywood, 53, did not rule out the possibility of appearing on a TV show where he himself might be judged, saying “maybe one year” to taking part in Strictly.

The baker and TV star added: “I did do a dance thing a couple of years ago when I was filming American Bake Off so they were aware that I may have to go to the States.

“I had to learn the Beat It theme.”

However, he said that he has forgotten the routine to the Michael Jackson song, adding: “I deleted it from my mind. So I did that. I was training for about three weeks and then I had to pull out. So I was going to do it.”

Hollywood appears on The Jonathan Ross Show alongside comics John Bishop and Suzi Ruffell and actress Naomi Ackie.

The Jonathan Ross Show airs at 10.10pm on Saturday November 16 on ITV.