Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood is in hot water, once again. The baker-turned-TV star was just named in a New York Times investigation into the world of buying and selling fake Twitter bots. Shortly after the Gray Lady reached out to Hollywood about whether he had purchased followers from shady bot peddler Devumi, the celebrity baker deleted his Twitter account and replied: “Account does not exist.” Before Hollywood jumped ship this weekend, his account had 683,000 followers.
Devumi has around 200,000 customers who have collectively purchased, by the NYT’s estimates, around 200 million Twitter followers. Files indicate that celebrities like model Kathy Ireland, former NFL player Ray Lewis, and comedian John Leguizamo are among the users with fake followers supplied by Devumi. A handful of these famous people, including Hollywood, deny making these purchases. A rep for the Bake Off judge tells the Mirror: “Paul deleted his personal account last week when he was alerted to the fake followers.” Hollywood still maintains an active presence on Facebook, where he’s hawking his new book, A Baker’s Life.
Paul is the last member of the original Bake Off lineup who’s still working on the show. UK tabloid The Sun recently floated the rumor that Hollywood and his old co-star Mary Berry might be teaming up again for the fourth season of The Great American Baking Show, but ABC still hasn’t announced any official details on that program yet.
• The Follower Factory [NYT]
• Paul Hollywood deletes his Twitter account [Mirror]
• Paul Hollywood deletes Twitter account after being asked about ‘fake followers’ [Telegraph]
• All Coverage of the Great British Bake Off [E]