Master baker Paul Hollywood is best known for his role as the hard-to-impress judge alongside Marry Berry on The Great British Bake Off. He moved to Channel 4’s version of Bake Off, joining Prue Leith on the judging panel.
Originally trained in sculpture, Paul turned to bread making and pastry in grand hotels before displaying a talent for television. As well as closely inspecting contestants’ soggy bottoms, he has also shown off his own pies and puddings. After dinner Paul admits how he and ‘Bezza’ pine for a post-show take-away.
Paul originally trained as a sculptor, but was drawn to the family baking business at 17. After serving his apprenticeship he joined The Chester Grosvenor Hotel as Head Baker before moving to The Dorchester and started to build a reputation as one of the UK’s best artisan bakers.
After a period working at hotels outside the UK he returned and became a regular on cookery and food programmes including Richard and Judy, This Morning and Ready Steady Cook where he specialised in traditional bread baking. He also became a host on UKTV’s Great Food Live, frequently wrote for The Observer and BBC Good Food, and authored a book, 100 Great Breads.
Paul also started producing artisan breads and pastries for sale under the Paul Hollywood Artisan Baker brand with a client list including Harrods and Waitrose. His almond and roquefort sourdough loaf is reputed to be the most expensive loaf in the country.
However, it was Great British Bake-Off that has made Paul a star. The surprise hit show tapped in to the nation’s enthusiasm for home baking as well TV talent contests. Paul’s uncompromising judgements and obvious passion for baking has made him a popular TV personality.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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