10 Things You Didn’t Know about Paul Hollywood

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Paul Hollywood

Paul Hollywood

Paul Hollywood is a celebrity chef. Generally speaking, interested individuals will recognize him because of his role as a judge on The Great British Bake Off. However, since he is a celebrity chef, it should come as no surprise to learn that he has other cooking-related projects as well. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Paul Hollywood:

1. Born in Wallasey

Hollywood was born in a town called Wallasey, which can be found in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in North West England. The name of the town is an interesting reminder of how landscapes can change over time. This is because the suffix “-ey” indicates either an island or some other section of dry land, which was indeed the case in the past when the town was still separated from the rest of Wirral by Wallasey Pool, sand dunes, and marsh lands.

2. Comes From a Baking Background

It isn’t uncommon for chefs to have some kind of culinary background. In Hollywood’s case, since he is so associated with baking, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that he has a baking background. To be exact, he is the son of a bakery proprietor named John F. Hollywood, meaning that he presumably soaked up a fair amount of baking expertise and experience through his exposure to the baking business when he was still a child.

3. Studied Sculpture

For a time, Hollywood seemed to have had something else in mind besides becoming a baker. After all, he is known to have spent some time studying sculpture at the Wallasey School of Art. However, Hollywood left the school in time so that he could work as a baker for his father’s bakery. In time, he went on to work as a baker for a number of businesses in the local region, thus preparing himself for the bigger roles that he would take on in the times to come.

4. Worked in Cyprus

One excellent example would be how Hollywood’s experience working for hospitality businesses in the United Kingdom prepared him for working for hospitality businesses in Cyprus. For those who are unfamiliar, the Mediterranean island sees more than two million tourists on an annual basis, meaning that its tourism sector plays a huge important in its culture as well as its economy. In particular, British tourists make up a huge proportion of these tourists because of the lingering influence of British colonialism. However, the economic events of the late 2000s convinced Cyprus to make itself more appealing for tourists from other countries as well so that it wouldn’t take serious losses from its over-reliance on a single source of tourists a second time.

5. Judge on The Great British Bake Off

As stated earlier, Hollywood is best-known to most people because he has been a judge on The Great British Bake Off since the show started up in August of 2010. Those who are curious should know that The Great British Bake Off is a competition between amateur bakers from throughout the United Kingdom. Each episode features three challenges that share a theme, thus providing them with a sense of unity as well as a chance for various participants to show off their baking skills. One participant is eliminated in each episode until there are three remaining from the season, which is when the final episode happens to choose the winner out of the three.

6. Stayed With the Show When It Moved

Speaking of which, it is worth mentioning that while The Great British Bake Off started out on the BBC, it was moved over to Channel 4 in 2016. Hollywood made a choice to stay with the show in spit of its move, while his co-judge Mary Berry made a choice to leave because of her sense of loyalty to the BBC over other considerations. At the time, Hollywood’s choice to stay with the show attracted some criticism that he was “following the money,” which wasn’t helped by a then recent reveal that he had trademarked his name for a huge list of potential products and services.

7. Made His Announcement On the Same Day As His Co-Judge

It seems reasonable to speculate that one of the reasons that Hollywood was criticized for his choice was because his announcement came on the same day as his co-judge Mary Berry’s announcement. As a result, his decision to stay was contrasted with her decision to leave, which she said was motivated by her gratitude to the BBC for having nurtured her as well as the show. Something that presumably strengthened the public perception that Hollywood was motivated by financial considerations. With that said, whatever some of the fans might have thought, the two co-judges seemed to have parted on amicable terms with one another.

8. Earned Praise For His Focus on Expertise

Judging-wise, Hollywood earned praise for his focus on expertise. Essentially, he had minimal interest in the personalities of the participants but instead focused on the products of their participation. This played perfectly with Hollywood’s considerable expertise and experience as a baker, as shown by how he was able to give insightful analysis even before biting into the baked goods on a consistent basis. On the whole, it was a refreshing change from a lot of the other judges on a lot of the other shows out there, thus enabling Hollywood to differentiate himself.

9. Participated in Who Do You Think You Are?

Hollywood is one of the people who have participated on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, which looks into the family trees of participating celebrities. There were no huge surprises in his case, but there was nonetheless a fair amount of interesting information. For example, it turned out that Hollywood’s great-great-great-grandfather had been a post-runner who had continued to cover a distance of more than 60 miles on foot on a weekly basis into his 40s.

10. Met His Wife in Cyprus

It is interesting to note that Hollywood met his eventual wife Alexandra in Cyprus when both of them were working in the tourism sector. To be exact, he was a head baker while she was a scuba diving instructor. Unfortunately, the two separated because of an affair on Hollywood’s part, reconciled for a while, and then separated a second time.

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