Paul Hollywood: I would never give up Bake Off for Top Gear

The Bake Off judge has been motor racing with Aston Martin for a new BBC2 documentary and has chatted to Chris Evans about the Top Gear relaunch, but says he would never want to be a presenter himself

He’s an avowed petrolhead and Aston Martin fan, but Paul Hollywood isn’t about to swap The Great British Bake Off tent for the Top Gear hangar.

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When he’s not been tasting cakes and pastries, Paul Hollywood has spent the last year earning a motorsport license, racing round the Le Mans 24 Hour circuit and driving some of the most iconic Aston Martin cars in the world. So, is he about to give up Bake Off and join Chris Evans’s new line-up on Top Gear?

“Never,” he said at the Radio Times Festival – although he is about to present a new car show for BBC2 at 8pm on Sunday night, the Top Gear slot.

“It’s an hour programme about the history of Aston Martin,” he explained about License to Thrill: Paul Hollywood Meets Aston Martin. “I got to drive some of the most iconic Aston Martins around the world. I ended up driving some of the best cars they’ve ever produced.

“They followed me around for some of my racing last year,” he added. “I saw it for the first time last week, and went, ‘Is that me?’ My wife saw it and said, ‘I didn’t know you went that fast.’ Mary just hit me round the head! I was going far too fast for her.”

In May Hollywood told Radio Times he was “really upset” about how the Jeremy Clarkson affair had been handled, but he’s since spoken to new presenter Chris Evans and believes that he has the experience to make it his own.

“I think Chris will do a good job with Top Gear,” he said. “I was talking to him about it recently, and I said what will probably happen is loads of people will watch the first one.”

He said Evans had managed it before, taking over from Terry Wogan on breakfast on BBC Radio 2: “He’s taken over from Terry Wogan on Radio 2 and made it his own. 

“Initially there will be a massive peak,” he added. “I think it will drop, and then it will pick up again.”

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He concluded: “I think he will make it his own – but not with me.”