Paul Hollywood has hit back at critics on social media who have suggested he betrayed The Great British Bake Off by agreeing to continue as a judge on the show when it moved from the BBC to Channel 4.
In the new issue of Radio Times magazine, Hollywood, whose decision to stay on was the subject of widespread debate in 2016, admits the “traitor” jibes “smarted”.
“What was I a traitor to? I’d just recorded a car show with the BBC, so I hadn’t left the BBC. I hadn’t left Bake Off. Normally as a traitor you turn your back on something. I didn’t turn my back on anything.
“But everyone’s got an agenda, you can’t change that.”
Hollywood describes himself as the “pantomime villain” of the new line-up, which also includes fellow judge Prue Leith and hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. “I’m the Captain Hook that comes on stage. I’m the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” he says. But Leith says Hollywood doesn’t have to shoulder all of that villainous guilt any more.
“Noel is taking a bit of that pressure off you,” she jokes, referencing the backlash to The Mighty Boosh star’s appointment as co-host. “Yes,” agrees Hollywood. “When we picked him I went ‘Woohoo!'”
The Great British Bake Offbegins on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday 29th August
Read the full interview with Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding in the new issue of Radio Times, in shops and via iTunes from Tuesday 22nd August