Paul Hollywood admits he 'wouldn't have taken' Bake Off role if he'd known about the loss of his private life

The baker has been a judge on the show since 2010

Paul Hollywood on Bake Off
(Image credit: Getty)

Bake off judge Paul Hollywood has admitted he would have looked at his role on the now-iconic baking show differently if he'd known about how much it may affect his personal life.

Paul Hollywood was accused of favoritism on SU2C Bake Off towards comedian Matt Lucas only a month ago, but it's his love life that's been the real headline grabber. The Bake Off judge has had a very tumultuous time in his love life - breaking up with his wife of 20 years and dating a series of women. 

Paul, who also stars in the US version of the Bake Off, admitted that trying to maintain 'family relationships is really difficult when they’re in the public domain.'

The TV presenter, who is now happily settled with Melissa Spalding, the landlady of a pub in Kent admitted to the Daily Mail's Weekend magazine, "Would I have done Bake Off if I’d known all this stuff was going to happen, the loss of my private life?’ 

"No, I wouldn’t have done it. The financial benefits are great. It’s a job, and to earn money you have to work hard, but ultimately what matters is your private life and your anonymity."

He goes on to warn, "Anything to do with family, you have to be careful. Trying to maintain family relationships is really difficult when they’re in the public domain. It’s hard enough outside the public domain, but to do it in the public domain is impossible."

The Bake Off star's personal life went public in 2013 when it was revealed he's had an affair with US co-star Marcela Valladolid, while he was still married. He went on to have another 2-year relationship with a barmaid, who was in her 20s. 

He finally divorced wife Alex in 2019, but she admits to being happy single. In a recent Instagram post she admitted, "It's taken me a while to get here and it hasn't been easy, but I love the woman I am now. Women often lose themselves in relationships, we don't naturally put ourselves first and I know only too well that not every marriage/partnership is a recipe for happiness & success."

Paul Hollywood has been a judge on the baking show Bake Off since it started on the BBC in 2010. Before his celebrity status, he trained as an artisan baker, after growing up working in his Dad's bakery.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.