Paul Hollywood

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Paul John Hollywood
Paul Hollywood.jpg
Born (1966-03-01) 1 March 1966 (age 49)[1]
Wallasey, Merseyside, England
Spouse(s) Alexandra Hollywood
Culinary career
Cooking style Baking

Paul John Hollywood (born 1 March 1966) is an English baker and celebrity chef, best known for being a judge on the BBC One's The Great British Bake Off since 2010.

He has worked as a baker since taking up the career at his father's bakery as a teenager and has gone on to become head baker at a number of hotels around Britain. After returning from working in Cyprus, Hollywood began appearing in guest spots on a number of British television programmes on both BBC and ITV.


Paul John Hollywood was born in 1966 in Wallasey, Wirral. He was a pupil at The Mosslands School. Hollywood studied sculpture at the Wallasey School of Art, but quit the course to start work as a baker. He first worked in his father's bakery on the east coast of England and then in other bakeries on Merseyside.[2] He eventually went on to become head baker at a number of hotels, including the The Dorchester, Chester Grosvenor and Spa and the Cliveden Hotel. He then left the UK for Cyprus, where he worked at two resorts.[3]

Hollywood has appeared in guest spots on a number of television programmes, including BBC One's The Generation Game, The Heaven and Earth Show and ITV's This Morning[3] and The Alan Titchmarsh Show.[4] Since the show launched in 2010, Hollywood has been a judge on the BBC2 programme The Great British Bake Off. In this capacity, he has been described as the "antidote" to judges such as Len Goodman or Simon Cowell in other reality TV programmes, on account of his straightforward and honest manner and because his judging is restricted purely to the finished product.[5] His partnership with Mary Berry has been described in The Guardian as being the "secret weapon" of the show and potentially one of the best judging combinations to have appeared on reality TV.[6] Hollywood ran his own artisanal baking business based in Aylesham, Kent, which supplied stores such as Harrods and Waitrose but closed this in 2013 due to his increasing media commitments.[3] The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards named his 2005 book 100 Great Breads as the "Top Bread and Pastry Book" for that year.[7]

In 2008, Hollywood created an almond and roquefort sourdough recipe that was said to be the most expensive bread in Britain.[8] The roquefort is supplied from a specialist in France at £15 per kilo, while the flour for the bread is made by a miller in Wiltshire. Hollywood describes it as a "Rolls-Royce of loaves".[8] Hollywood is a guest speaker at several food festivals, including the Cumbrian Food Festival,[9] and the BBC Good Food Show and the Cake and Bake Show, both in London.[7][10] In May 2013, Hollywood began appearing as a judge on The American Baking Competition on CBS.

Hollywood has also starred in Sadie J, a children's television programme. In 2013, he presented "Paul Hollywood's Bread" on BBC Two, in which he gave advice on recipes for different types of bread; however, also featured on the series were recipes for some cakes such as the Danish pastry. He also presented in Paul Hollywood's Pies and Puds, a cookery television series on BBC One.

Personal life[edit]

Hollywood is married to Alexandra Hollywood and they have a son.[4][11] In 2013, Hollywood's affair with fellow The American Baking Competition judge Marcela Valladolid was made public. His wife was considering filing for divorce, but the couple have since reconciled.[11] Hollywood expressed his remorse on The Jonathan Ross Show.

Baking runs in Hollywood's family. In addition to his father's baking empire, his grandfather was head baker at The Adelphi Hotel.[4] He lives in Wingham, a village near Canterbury in Kent.



  1. ^ Hollywood, Paul. "MY BIRTHDAY IS 1st MARCH not today!!". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Coligan, Nick (20 September 2011). "Wallasey chef Paul Hollywood on his role in The Great British Bake-Off". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Paul Hollywood". UKTV Food. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Greenaway, Heather (6 March 2012). "Celebrity chef Paul Hollywood: I piled on the pounds during the Great British Bake Off". The Daily Record. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Heritidge, Stuart (15 September 2010). "Paul Hollywood: TV's rising star". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Hertidge, Stuart (7 September 2011). "Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood: the best reality TV judges ever?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Paul Hollywood". BBC Good Food Show. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Cockcroft, Lucy (8 December 2008). "Britain's most expensive bread goes on sale at Harrods for £15 a loaf". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bake Off Star Paul Hollywood Guest at Cumbrian Food Festival". News and Star. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Paul Hollywood". The Cake and Bake Show. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Paul Hollywood's recipe to win back his wife after his affair". Daily Mail (London). 4 November 2013. 

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