Paul Hollywood admits affair was 'biggest mistake of my life'

The Great British Bake Off judge said he hoped to repair his marriage

Paul Hollywood has admitted to having an affair with his younger American co-host, saying it was “the biggest mistake of my life”.

The Great British Bake Off  judge, who had previously refused to talk about the alleged affair when rumours broke earlier this year, said he is still in love with his wife Alexandra.

He said: “I did have an affair in American with my co-judge and it was something which was the biggest mistake of my life, because I still love my wife.

“I’m at that point at the moment where we’re talking and we’re working to get back together again. But it is going to take time.”

He said he felt he “deserved” the amount of media attention his affair with 35-year-old Marcela Valladolid had attracted.

He told Radio 5 Live he knew he had done wrong, and asked the media to respect his privacy while he tried to reconcile his marriage.

“What I did was wrong. But now what we just need is space,” he said.

When asked if he agreed with the press regulation royal charter the Queen signed yesterday, the father of one said he thought the media should have to follow firmer guidelines.

He said: “At the end of the day there does need to be guidelines because [the press] does overstep the mark. When does it become privacy and your own personal space? At the end of the day there has to be some form of balance between everything.”

He added he felt he had “nobody to turn to” when news of his affair hit headlines in the summer.

“When I was in the eye of the storm there was literally nobody you could turn to. You just felt absolutely petrified. I was petrified. Really scared,” he said.

Hollywood, 47, has served as a judge on the popular BBC Two baking competition since 2010 and has recently launched a new show, Pies and Puds.

He co-hosted the US version of the show, The American Baking Competition, with Valladolid in May this year.

He was accused of flirting with Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh this year, but denied the allegations and later admitted Kimberley Wilson was “much prettier”.