In his first exclusive interview since the new Great British Bake Off line-up was announced, Paul Hollywood joined today’s Loose Women panel.
Speaking of Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig taking over as hosts, alongside new judge Prue Leith, he said: “I’m really excited to be honest. I’m really excited, I mean really excited. Obviously it’s a big thing for the country, the Bake Off. When I heard the names read out, I was the same as everybody else, I was really excited.”
Of whether he was consulted: “No. Why?
“I did know about Prue. But I didn’t know about the others at all. But it’s perfect. I’m really, really excited.”
Of whether they’ve spent any time together yet: “We’re about to [meet up]. It’s got to be kept so quiet. It’s going to be on the moon somewhere…!”
He added: “At the end of the day, most people are in the dark, it’s kept very quiet for obvious reasons.”
Musing on the new line-up, he continued: “I think the whole dynamic of it, when I sat down and thought about it, I’m a big fan of Noel as well and Sandi actually and Prue. Prue, obviously she’s got this huge professional background, working in London for years. I’ve got nothing but respect for Prue.
He confessed: “We’ve actually met and had a chat, there’s something there. In fact, she reminds me so much of my mother-in-law, in a fantastic way. I think we’re going to get on like a house on fire.”
Asked whether the reaction to the show’s moved from the BBC to Channel 4 suprised him, he said: “Yeah […] there’s some really bad stuff going on on the planet at the moment. I’m sure everyone can move on from this.”
Asked on how he felt about Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry staying ‘loyal to the BBC’ he said: “They [Mel, Sue and Mary] were loyal in their own little arenas of what they wanted to do. I was in a different stage of my career. And it’s my job and I love doing the Bake Off. And when it moved channels, I’m with the production company, I don’t work for a channel, I work for a production company and my job was always there and for me, I didn’t want to lose it. They gave me a shot seven years ago and I grasped it with both hands, why would I want to let it go?”
Of whether he and Mary discussed his decision to stay with the show he said: “We did talk during it and I’ve said before, Mary said ‘If I was in your shoes I would have done exactly the same thing’. I’m at a different stage to Mary. I just couldn’t let go of that job because they’re just great people.”
Of when GBBO returns to screens Paul would only say “soon”.