Paul Hollywood: ‘It would be difficult’ GBBO judge talks lockdown rules in new series

The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, 54, is hopeful that the series will go ahead, but said social distancing would be difficult if guidelines are still in place, due to their many cast members.

It would be extremely difficult to do

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said of social distancing on the set: “It would be difficult eating the stuff that they bake.

“We’ve got over 100 crew on bake off and there’s a lot of people running around, it would be extremely difficult to do.”

Filming for the show has been postponed for now, but Paul is hoping they will be back in action in August.

He said: “I’m sure we will manage to get it done at some point.

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“If they unleash us into the world before August, then I’m sure we can get three or four programmes up and edited quickly to get them out.

“I’m sure it’ll be a quick turnaround.”

Should the series go ahead this year, Paul will be joined by new host Matt Lucas following the departure of Sandi Toksvig.

The latter stepped down from her co-hosting duties with Noel Fielding to focus on other work projects.

At the time, she said: “When stepping down from a job, it is quite common for people to say they are doing so in order to spend more time with their family.

“Unusually, I am departing from the Great British Bake Off so I can spend more time with my other work.

“As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show.

“Spending time with Prue [Leith], Paul and Noel has been one of the great pleasures of my life.”

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Paul admitted he was shocked by Sandi’s departure and insisted he had no idea she was planning on leaving.

He told Radio Times: “No, it was a surprise and I was really upset.

“I’m very fond of Sandi. She was never too busy to sit down, have a chat and put the world to rights.

“We shared a couple of drinks and had some good times together. I’m going to miss her.”

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Meanwhile, Paul’s new three-part series Paul Hollywood Eats Japan comes to an end this evening.

The show has been giving fans an insight into his culinary adventure overseas where he tried the likes of sushi, tempura and tofu.

Reflecting on his experience, he said: “I found it amazing, I thought the Japanese people were so friendly, so respectable and so polite.

“I regret not going there years ago.”

Paul Hollywood Eats Japan airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.

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