Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has revealed that he was in the same position as fans of the show when it came to hearing news of the replacements for his former colleagues Mary Berry and Mel and Sue.

Asked if he had been consulted about new judge Prue Leith or presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, Hollywood said "No. Why [would I be?]"

"Most people were in the dark, it was kept very quiet for obvious reasons," Hollywood told Loose Women. "I did know about Prue but I didn’t know about the others."

Nevertheless, he said he was "really excited – I mean really excited" about the new signings, adding that a meeting with former Great British Menu judge Leith had revealed a certain kind of chemistry.

"We’ve met and had a chat and there was something there," said Hollywood. "She reminds me of my mother-in-law –in a fantastic way! – I think we’re gonna get on like a house on fire."

The Great British Bake Off begins its first series on Channel 4 later this year after a controversial move from the BBC. Original judge Mary Berry and hosting duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins opted not to follow the show out of loyalty to the BBC.