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'Well, That Was Odd': Paul Hollywood Opens Up About His Original Bake Off Audition

Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood
Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood

Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood

Paul Hollywood has admitted his initial audition for the Great British Bake Off was an “odd” experience.

The TV chef is now the only member of the OG Bake Off team still with the show, and in the lead-up to this year’s series, took part in an “oral history” of the franchise with The Guardian.

Speaking to the newspaper about the audition process, Paul recalled: “They opened up a bag of muffins and bread and tipped them on to my kitchen counter and said: ‘Judge them.’ So I did. And I was quite brutal about it, if I remember, because they were terrible.

“They said: ‘Brilliant!’ And then they put them back in the bag and left. I thought: ‘Well, that was odd.’.”

After Mel and Sue stepped down as hosts of Bake Off when it moved from the BBC to Channel 4, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig were recruited as its new hosts.

Noel Fielding
Noel Fielding

Noel Fielding

For Noel’s similarly bizarre audition, he was brought to a garden centre to interview members of the public, and see how they interacted.

“I was playing Alice Cooper [at the time, for Sky’s series Urban Myths], so I had a wig on and a false nose,” he recalled to The Guardian.

“I was just very lucky; I think there were a couple of old ladies who were really funny and one of them asked to marry me.”

Newest addition Alison Hammond previously shared that her audition process was just the same, interviewing people in a garden centre to see how she interacted with everyday people.

Alison Hammond and Noel Fielding
Alison Hammond and Noel Fielding

Alison Hammond and Noel Fielding

“I started off interviewing people on This Morning and this was going back to basics,” Alison told the Daily Mail earlier this month.

“Fundamentally, it’s being interested in somebody else. I do come across as loud and brash, but I also listen to what people have to say.”

Bake Off will return to Channel 4 for its 14th season next week, with new host Alison taking over as Noel’s co-host after Matt Lucas’ exit last year.

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