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Paul Hollywood opens up about 'horrendous' Bake Off move to Channel 4: 'I actually cried'

Paul Hollywood, Matt Lucas and Prue Leith in Celebrity Bake Off
Paul Hollywood continues to judge Bake Off alongside Prue Leith. (Image credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

The Great British Bake Off host Paul Hollywood has spoken about the beloved series moving to Channel 4 five years ago, saying the experience was "horrendous".

In 2017, The Great British Bake Off was sold to Channel 4 which saw some huge shake-ups for the baking competition. Following the move from the BBC, original judge and presenters Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins made the decision to leave the show.

They were then replaced by Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig with Paul Hollywood choosing to remain as a judge for the revamped Channel 4 version of Bake Off, however he has claimed it was a difficult experience.

Speaking to The Times (opens in new tab), (opens in new tab) Paul opened up about the show moving from the BBC to Channel 4 saying: "Oh, I was called every name under the sun. It was so horrendous, I actually cried."

Great British Bake Off judges and presenters

Paul Hollywood with Prue Leith, Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding. (Image credit: Channel 4)

The move reportedly promised to double his original salary but this angered some people and he has opened up about these comments...

"No one wants to be painted as the pantomime villain, especially when I was just sticking with a job I loved. But you can't kick against it. David Walliams actually took me aside and said: 'Mate, it's just a game. Enjoy it.' You're clickbait, basically."

Despite the comments, Paul soon learned to brush it off and said: "It hurt me. After a while, though, I got tough. I just thought: 'OK, I'll be your bad guy'."

Paul Hollywood has been part of The Great British Bake Off since the show launched in 2010, and it looks like he's planning on staying part of the program for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, Prue Leith is 'set to join Paul Hollywood' on The Great American Baking Show where the two will team up to judge the US version of the competition.

According to The Mirror (opens in new tab), Prue Leith will allegedly be taking the reins from the former judge, chef Sherry Yard, joining Paul overseas for the Roku Channel series which will follow the same format as fans are used to.

The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4. In the US, it's called The Great British Baking Show, and streams on Netflix.

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance