Paul Hollywood

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Paul Hollywood
Paul Hollywood.jpg
Born Paul John Hollywood
(1966-03-01) 1 March 1966 (age 50)[1]
Wallasey, Cheshire, England
Spouse(s) Alexandra Hollywood
Children Josh 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's The Great British Bake Off alongside Mary Berry 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, on the Wirral, in Cheshire, the son of bakery proprietor, John F. Hollywood and Gillian M. Harman;[2] his grandfather was head baker at The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.[3] 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 in York (the headquarters of a chain called Bread Winner which eventually stretched all the way down the east coast from Aberdeen to Lincolnshire) and then in other bakeries on Merseyside.[4] He eventually went on to become head baker at a number of hotels, including The Dorchester, Chester Grosvenor and Spa and the Cliveden Hotel. He then left the UK for Cyprus, where he worked at two resorts.[5]

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[5] and The Alan Titchmarsh Show.[3] Since the show launched in 2010, Hollywood has been a judge on the BBC 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.[6] 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.[7] Hollywood ran his own artisanal baking business based in Aylesham, Kent, which supplied stores such as Harrods and Waitrose but went into liquidation in year 2014 leaving £60,000 debts. The liquidators were able to recover enough money to cover their fees of £12,000 but the company's creditors received nothing[5] The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards named his 2005 book 100 Great Breads as the "Top Bread and Pastry Book" for that year.[8]

In 2008, Hollywood created an almond and roquefort sourdough recipe that was said to be the most expensive bread in Britain.[9] 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".[9] Hollywood is a guest speaker at several food festivals, including the Cumbrian Food Festival,[10] and the BBC Good Food Show and the Cake and Bake Show, both in London.[8][11] 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.

In August 2015 Hollywood was featured on the BBC genealogy documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?. The programme revealed that his grandfather Norman Harman, who served in the army during World War II, saw action in the Tunisia Campaign and at the Battle of Anzio and that his great-great-grandfather, Kenneth MacKenzie, had been a policeman in the City of Glasgow Police in the 1850s. Hollywood's great-great-great-grandfather, Donald MacKenzie, had been a crofter in Poolewe, Wester Ross. Donald had also been the post-runner between Poolewe and Dingwall, where he delivered post on foot over a distance of 60 miles (97 km). He covered this distance every week, during his forties, on foot for over a decade. He lived into his 80s.[12]

Motor racing[edit]

In 2015 Hollywood began his racing career, making his debut in the Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4. Hollywood raced with Andrew Howard, founder of Beechdean Dairies. The pair qualified second in the Britcar Trophy Championship's first round at Silverstone taking second in class in both races[13] Hollywood also competed at Le Mans in 2015, in the Aston Martin festival.[14] Hollywood has also competed in GT Cup with Jonny Adam and finished 1st in class.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Hollywood is married and has a son.



  1. ^ Hollywood, Paul. "MY BIRTHDAY IS 1st MARCH not today!!". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Paul Hollywood featured article: TheGenealogist". Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ Coligan, Nick (20 September 2011). "Wallasey chef Paul Hollywood on his role in The Great British Bake-Off". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Paul Hollywood". UKTV Food. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Heritidge, Stuart (15 September 2010). "Paul Hollywood: TV's rising star". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Hertidge, Stuart (7 September 2011). "Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood: the best reality TV judges ever?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Paul Hollywood". BBC Good Food Show. Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Bake Off Star Paul Hollywood Guest at Cumbrian Food Festival". News and Star. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Paul Hollywood". The Cake and Bake Show. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "BBC One - Who Do You Think You Are?, Series 12, Paul Hollywood". 13 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  13. ^, Britcar Trophy Championship, Silverstone, 03/29/2015
  14. ^ "Aston Martin Racing hosts Michelin Aston Martin Le Mans Festival". Sports Car Illustrated Inc. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Rainbow, Lottie. "GT cup2 Beechdean AMR GT4 Car Baking Hot with Paul Hollywood’s GT Cup Class Win". Beechdean Motosport. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 

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