Paul Hollywood: I’m not as mean as Bake Off edit me

The Bake Off judge says you don't see his softer side on the show, and he is a very different person at home compared to his TV persona

All the contestants in The Great British Bake Off tent live in fear of The Male Judge, but Paul Hollywood says he’s not half as mean as the editors on Bake Off make him out to be.


Hollywood believes his compassionate side has been consistently edited out of this series, and insists that he’s very different at home compared to how he is depicted on screen.

“All my criticism is constructive,” he said at the Radio Times Festival. “They may cut the edit where I turn round and say, ‘It looks like you piped that from 15 foot up’. But what you didn’t see is my lead up to that, because what I would actually have said is, ‘You should have piped it from here, and then drawn your piping from this side to create this’. But all you see is the last bit, and everybody goes, ‘Oh you’re so critical!’”

He also said that there were plenty of moments where he has consoled upset bakers, but that too has not made the final cut.

“There have been a couple of times this year where they’ve cried,” he said. “I walk from the ‘altar’ [where the bakers serve Paul and Mary the bakes], and I give them a hug, and I whisper to them, ‘It’s OK, it’s only a baking show. You’ll be back for the next challenge. Don’t worry.’ I walk back, and then they cut all that out!”

Hollywood said he does watch himself back when the show airs, but he finds it hard to associate the person he sees on TV with himself.

“I am quite a shy guy when I go home, I tend to keep myself to myself,” he said. I don’t venture out all that much, I don’t go to big cities a lot. So I tend to keep myself to myself a lot.

“It is unusual for me when I watch Bake Off. I can disassociate myself from the guy on television, because I’m sitting there in a dressing gown, lying back watching the programme, normally with a piece of cake. French fancy actually, they’re normally my favourite. And a mug of tea. And I watch Bake Off, and at the end of it I always say, ‘It’s a great programme that.’ I don’t know what it is… It’s when the music comes in. I love that music.”

In fact, he loves it so much that he’s got the theme tune on his phone.

“I did my own Bake Off at Christmas time when the family came down with the kids. I put my phone in the PA system, and I got those little gingerbread house kits.

“There were were four teenagers there, and I said, ‘Listen, you’ve got an hour to create a gingerbread house. On your marks, get set, BAKE.’

“And I played the music on repeat. I was walking around, looking at them from a distance, and they absolutely loved it.


“Even my son was getting nervous of his dad walking around and going, ‘What’s that then?’ He said, ‘That means you don’t like it doesn’t it? I don’t know what you’re doing, Dad!’”