In Brief

Mel, Sue and Mary ‘abandoned’ Bake Off says Paul Hollywood

Current judge says he became ‘most hated man in Britain’ when he moved with show to Channel 4

Paul Hollywood, judge of The Great British Bake Off, has accused his former colleagues on the BBC of abandoning the show.

Mary Berry, along with presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, left the programme when it was announced it was moving to Channel 4.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Hollywood said the criticism he received when he decided to stay was “not fun”.

“I stayed with Bake Off. The girls abandoned it. But I was the one put under siege,” he said.

“I became the most hated man in the country! It’s not fun for someone that doesn’t like being in the limelight. I didn’t set out to be on the telly, I set out to be a good baker. And I didn’t want this…”

He added: “If you give me a cheque, you’ll never see me again.”

Asked how big a cheque it would take, he said: “Not much, to be honest.”

Hollywood now judges the cooking contest alongside Prue Leith, with Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding as the presenters. The show has continued to get good ratings, with 11 million people tuning in to see Sophie Faldo win this year’s series. But Hollywood suggested he is frustrated with those viewers who have not accompanied the show to its new home.

“There are people who can’t get past channel one, the older generation, who don’t understand how that works,” he said.

“They only flick a couple of buttons and it takes three clicks to watch Channel 4.”

Hollywood also addressed fellow judge Prue Leith’s Twitter gaffe where she revealed the winner of this year’s series before it had aired.

Hollywood said while he forgives his fellow judge, he thinks there could have been an even higher viewing figure than the 11 million people who watched the final.

“I think we could have had much more,” he said. “Everyone makes a mistake. It was a shame though.”

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