Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood wants to 'disappear and hide' following collapse of his marriage

 

Paul Hollywood has admitted that he is "upset and sad" about the collapse of his marriage - and that he might have been happier if he had not become famous.

The Great British Bake Off judge left Alexandra, 49, his wife of 15 years, amid an attempt to launch his career in the US and reports of a relationship with his new co-star Marcela Valladolid, 35.

Hollywood, who returns to the small screen with Mary Berry for a fourth series of Bake Off this week, told the Radio Times that he is tempted to "disappear and hide".

The 47-year-old, who said that he did not have girlfriends until his mid-20s, described himself as "an old man from the rough end of town" and admitted that he is an "egomaniac".

Hollywood, who has an 11-year-old son with Alexandra, said: "I didn't think Bake Off would be like this, although you have to be an egomaniac to do it. Anyone who says they're not is kidding themselves. You couldn't put yourself in front of a camera otherwise.

"But I won't comment on my marriage for my son's sake. He became quite ill. I live about a mile from where I used to and love him to pieces.

"He was asked to do a show at school about someone famous and phoned me, saying, 'I want to pick you'. I nearly cried. I said, 'Josh, I'm not famous', and he replied, 'Daddy, you are'.

"I broke down. I'm upset and sad about the whole separation. I've been totally honest with those in the know.

"Everyone else? That's their problem. I don't care."

He told the magazine: "I thought I'd spend my life making baguettes, muffins, croissants. I might have been happier if I had. One day I'll disappear and hide in a corner of Britain.

"I'll own a bakery in a village, live above it, have a big garden because I like mowing. I want to get up when I feel like it, let people queue for my products and when they're gone, shut the shop and think about tomorrow. Creating magic - that's my dream. And I'll do it."

Hollywood called his heartthrob status "a joke", adding: "I'm an old man from the rough end of town. Wouldn't you be (flattered)? I lost my youth because I started baking with my dad at 17, and had to get up and go to bed early.

"I needed the money, was happy to be led, and happened to have a good feeling for it, but it took over my life. I never had girlfriends or went clubbing until I was in my mid-20s."

There has been speculation that Hollywood's marriage breakdown could affect Bake Off's popularity and in May the BBC denied reports that his role on the BBC2 show was under threat.

But Hollywood said: "It's about bakers, not judges. Maybe fame has caused a problem, but it's not fame as such. To nail it to that would be foolhardy.

"It's the perfect storm, a blend of everything. One in two marriages fail. I don't see those people written about in the papers every day."

Hollywood, who was recently pictured with Valladolid in Majorca, said that he could not understand why Bake Off was so successful but said that "nostalgia" was key.

He insisted: "The real Paul Hollywood is shy, likes nothing better than going home, putting on slippers and dressing gown, having a cup of tea and watching telly."

Alexandra told last month how she believes that there is "no going back" to the marriage and that it was time for her to "move on".

"In the space of four weeks my life changed irrevocably. One minute I was happily married and the next I wasn't. It was a complete shock. I still haven't completely absorbed it yet," she said.

The American Baking Competition, which Hollywood presented in the US with Valladolid, is not thought to be returning for a second series after failing to attract enough viewers.

Hollywood said that he has not got time to deal properly with his bakery, the Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread Company, which is being taken over by a conglomerate, adding: "I haven't time any more. It's a huge headache and massive problem because I wasn't there enough. I'll start recipe development and products."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test