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‘Great British Bake Off’ Star Paul Hollywood Is Tired of Being Called a Traitor

If you prick the pastry judge, does he not bleed?

Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Great British Bake Off crew is like the current day Beach Boys lineup: Only one original member of the group is still keeping the dream alive. And that one person is Paul Hollywood, who, like his Beach Boys counterpart Mike Love, was never really anyone’s favorite member of the group. There’s nothing wrong with the veteran baker, per se, but he lacks the warmth of his former co-judge Merry Berry, and the charm of the program’s old hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. And since the hit cooking competition program — which is called The Great British Baking Show in the US — announced a network change in the UK followed by the staffing departures, fans of the show have tried to paint Hollywood as the villain of the bunch.

The TV host recently told UK magazine Closer: “It has been hard because I was called a traitor over my decision to leave the BBC to go to Channel 4... The other three left for whatever reason but I didn't want to lose my job. The show found me and I didn't want to turn my back on them.” As he’s demonstrated throughout the show, Paul is a pragmatists through and through, so it really shouldn’t be all that surprising that he decided to stay with the program that made him a star.

Trying to further put a positive spin on things, Hollywood also says he’s having a good time filming with Baking Off’s Mel and Sue replacements, comedians Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig. Paul remarks: “I have missed Mary, Mel and Sue, and when I started filming the new 'Bake Off' it was hard... But I had tears rolling down my face because of how funny Noel and Sandi are, so I wasn't really that sad in the end.“ It remains to be seen whether or not audiences will also enjoy the company of these new members of crew.

In other Bake Off news, the new iteration of the show — the one with the gonzo preview full of barfing anthropomorphized cakes — is slated to premiere in the UK this fall, but it’s unclear when American audiences will get to see it... or if they will get to see it at all. PBS has the US distribution rights to the show, and so far the network has aired the four most recent seasons. The Times reports that the network will run one more old season (there are seven total), but “it had not yet decided whether to air future seasons in the United States.”

Stay tuned for more Bake Off/Baking Show updates as they become available.
Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood would like people to stop calling him a “traitor,” please [AV Club]
Paul Hollywood says he missed Mary Berry and Mel & Sue during filming of rebooted Great British Bake Off [Daily Mail UK]
‘The Great British Bake Off’ as We Know It Is Over. What Comes Next? [NYT]
All Coverage of The Great British Bake Off [E]