Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood: 'I'm no sex symbol, I'm quite shy'


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The Independent Culture

The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood admits he is no sex symbol at home - where he likes to lounge around in his slippers and dressing gown.

Artisan baker Hollywood, 47, has just landed a role as a judge on the US version of the BBC's hit show.

Hollywood, who has been dubbed a "silver fox" because of his heart-throb status, said: "It's flattering. But I always think they are taking the mickey. I don't really believe it."

He told the Radio Times: "It's quite embarrassing. I'm quite shy, really. The figure you see on TV, that's just a persona.

"I like getting home, putting my feet up, getting into my slippers and dressing gown."

He added that he was sometimes reminded by his wife to take off the "tracky bums" when he popped to the shops because he is now a celebrity.

Hollywood said: "I think I was at my peak when I was at the Dorchester... This (fame) is an illusion. It's not real. It's superficial."

Hollywood, who runs an artisan baking company, added: "I have gone through some bad times with my own business. At one point I was working my socks off, driving, delivering, baking.

"It was hard, hard work. But I worked through it... I never came close to bankruptcy but I had to cut back on staff.

"And when I needed equipment, I was fortunate to have family who were prepared to put their hands in their pockets. I was good at what I did and they believed in me. I stuck to it, because I didn't want to lose what I had. And I never give up."

Hollywood said: "My mum is very proud of me", but added: "I forget what I do."

He admitted that his first brush with fame was not so successful when local TV news show, Granada Reports, shot a piece with him about baking bread.

"They interviewed me for about six hours, and I remember thinking as I walked out of the hotel to go home, 'I've made it'. Then, on telly that night, it was about 30 seconds long," he said.