Friday 27 April 2018

Paul Hollywood: Fans will not notice the difference in Channel 4’s Bake Off

The show’s only returning star has assured fans that the new line-up will not change it.

The Great British Bake Off stars
The Great British Bake Off stars

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Paul Hollywood has insisted that viewers will not notice any difference with The Great British Bake Off “within 10 minutes” of the first episode of the new series.

The popular cookery programme was sold last year to Channel 4 after having its home at the BBC since 2010, much to the anguish of many fans.

Previous judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins bowed out of the Bake Off with the move, leaving Hollywood as the only original star.

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Paul Hollywood

Earlier this year it was confirmed he would be joined by new judge Prue Leith and new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

Ahead of the new Bake Off airing, Hollywood said that fans do not need to be concerned about the change in its line-up, while Fielding has said they had no intention to “sabotage” the show.

“I’ve seen the first programme, you’ll not know the difference within 10 minutes,” Hollywood said.

“The first thing I said was ‘Bake Off’s back’ as soon as I watched it.

“Because actually, when you start to see the bakers getting into the challenges, and the music comes in and the tent’s there, you realise actually that’s what Bake Off is.”

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The Great British Bake Off

Fielding said: “We’re all just there to help the process and the format, so we’re not trying to sabotage the format or subvert anything.”

Hollywood likened Bake Off to a factory, in that “if you change the staff, the machinery still works”.

He said: “We do Comic Relief, we did that for five years with different presenters every week – it’s the same thing, it’s still Bake Off.

“Is that Bake Off or not? Of course it is.”

Leith, who previously acted as a judge on the BBC’s The Great British Menu for 11 years, joked that fans of the baking programme are probably the most anxious about Fielding.

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Noel Fielding

The Mighty Boosh star Fielding quipped he is “like finding a spider in a packet of fondant fancies”.

He remarked on other TV programmes undergoing line-up changes, including those which have included both him and Toksvig.

“Sandi does QI now and I don’t think anyone can really remember when Stephen (Fry) did it, it just feels like a perfect transition,” Fielding said.

“Same as when I did Never Mind The Buzzcocks – I replaced Bill Bailey. You know, people go, ‘I love Bill Bailey’, then after two weeks they go, ‘oh, it’s the same show’.

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Sandi Toskvig

“If the show’s good and the format’s good and the elements are good, then I think the show’s robust enough to take these new elements.”

Commenting on Channel 4’s outgoing chief creative officer Jay Hunt’s recent remarks about the new series of Bake Off having a “new tone” and it being more “modern”, Hollywood said that was purely about having “different people” involved.

He said: “Different people have different comedy angles to work with, with Bake Off.

“And I’ve heard things from (Toksvig and Fielding) which have cracked me up, which I’d never heard before in seven years.

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Prue Leith

“That’s probably what Jay was talking about.

“It’s not the fact that we’re stopping anything about what the Bake Off is.

“Bake Off is Bake Off.”

:: The Great British Bake Off begins at 8pm on Tuesday August 29 on Channel 4.

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