The Great British Bake Off’s judge Paul Hollywood has admitted that it “hurt” when critics slammed him as a traitor for sticking with the show when it moved to Channel 4.
The TV chef was the only member of the programme’s original host line-up to stick with producers Love Productions when they moved the much-loved cooking contest from the BBC.
His co-host Mary Berry and presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc stepped down from the programme, but Hollywood will return alongside new faces Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding when it comes back to screens on Tuesday.
But while his former colleagues commented on their “loyalty” to the show’s original broadcaster, some slated him for not following suit.
In an interview published by the Star newspaper, the 51-year-old said: “Being called a traitor was one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. It hurt.
“Who am I a traitor to? I still work with the BBC on other shows. I don’t like bullying, so I always go against the grain. At the end of the day it was the right thing for me to do.”
Describing the hit baking competition as his “biggest achievement,” he said he never had any intention of leaving, adding: “I wanted to be loyal to the guys that were loyal to me and I am very glad I went with the show.”
The Wallasey born baker, who has fronted a number of his own cooking shows, also hit back at critics who pay too much attention to the hosting line-up, reminding them that “the bakers are the stars of the show”.
He promised that viewers will enjoy baking standards “10 times higher” than ever before.