GBBO Final 2014: Paul Hollywood claims he would beat fellow judge Mary Berry 'hands down' in a baking competition

His confident riposte came after Berry herself gave a far more diplomatic answer to the same question just a week beforehand

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The Independent Online

Those who thought the Great British Bake Off judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry were beyond pre-final rivalry, think again.

The blue-eyed master baker has declared that he would, without question, beat the veteran cook if they were to go spoon-to-spoon in a similar competition.

“I’d beat Mary hands down. Period,” he told Waitrose Kitchen magazine.

His confident riposte came after Berry herself gave a far more diplomatic answer to the same query posed to her by the publication a week beforehand.

“He’d win the bread, hands down, but I’d win the cakes,” she said.

Rest assured, however, there’s no spilt milk between them. The pair, who have become household names since the first series of the show four years ago, are close friends on and off the screen.


Hollywood often, he says, stays at Berry’s London flat, where she apparently “looks after me like I’m one of her family”.

“We respect each other. I would never argue with him over a loaf of something because he knows the science of it – how they’ve achieved it and everything,” Berry has said of her rival judge in the past.

But how do their respective careers weigh up between them?

Hollywood started baking when he joined his family business at the age of 18. He went on to work for top hotels The Dorchester and Cliveden House as the head baker. He is also the mastermind behind the £15-a-pop Harrod’s Almond and Roquefort sourdough loaf.

Berry, meanwhile, trained at the revered Cordon Bleu in Paris. She became a food writer in the Sixties, and has over 70 titles to her name. Her fortune is estimated at £5million.

Hollywood has released just five titles.

The final of the Great British Bake Off is tonight, and will see Luis, Richard and Nancy cook for the title.