Paul Hollywood denies favouring Great British Bake Off's Ruby Tandoh: 'I think Kimberley's far prettier'

The Bake Off judge said it was his job to 'judge what goes on the plate'

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The Independent Culture

The preferential treatment Great British Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh receives from the judges has not gone unnoticed.

But now Paul Hollywood has spoken out against claims he favours the 21-year-old former model beacause of her looks.

Hollywood, 47, dismissed the claims as “rubbish” and said he though fellow contestant Kimberley “was far prettier”.

"Personally I think (fellow contestant) Kimberley's far prettier. With all the love in the world, Ruby's not my type," he told the Radio Times.

"But she's a great baker, one of the most talented bakers who has walked in that tent."

Hollywood said it was his job to “judge what goes on the plate” and insisted he was not swayed by other factors.

The judge, who has been linked to his 35-year-old US co-star Marcela Valladolid after leaving his wife of 15 years, said: "I don't judge the person - Mary will back me up on this - because it's not one judge doing this. It's two. And we both say the same thing."

Meanwhile, Tandoh, a philosophy student at University College London, said she was not bothered by accusations of favouritism.

"It's easy to brush it off because I know how it was in the tent - and there was no favouritism. It was all very fair so that doesn't get to me very much," she said.

Publishers are said to be preparing to approach the Essex-born student to write a cookery book, which could lead to her own TV show.

Asked whether she thought Hollywood was a sex symbol, Tandoh told student magazine The Tab: "Not for me! Not my thing but, you know, for other people maybe that's what they go for."

The Great British Bake Off semi-final airs tonight on BBC Two at 8pm