Wirral celebrity baker Paul Hollywood 'very proud' to accept MBE

Paul Hollywood accepted his MBE at Windsor Castle. Credit: PA

The celebrity baker and TV presenter Paul Hollywood has accepted an MBE from the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.

The 57-year-old star of The Great British Bake off, originally from Wallasey on the Wirral, has been a judge on the hit TV show since it started in 2010, co-hosting firstly with Dame Mary Berry and then Dame Prue Leith.

Paul Hollywood with fellow judge Mary Berry on The Great British Bake Off Credit: PA

He was awarded the MBE for services to baking and broadcasting.

Speaking after the ceremony – which was presided over by Princess Anne – Hollywood said he would like to see her appear on the show.

He said: “I’ve always been fond of the Princess Royal.

“I met her a few years ago at Buckingham Palace when the (then) Duke of Edinburgh wasn’t very well. We were all with members of the royal family and I just happened to be there with Princess Anne. So to see her again today was fantastic.

“She did say ‘baking is so integral to the DNA of us all. We love the smell’. And I said ‘absolutely, I grew up with the smell’.

“I think she’s particularly fond of Chelsea buns. I promised her some, so I put myself on the spot there.”

When asked if the royal family were fans of the show, Hollywood confessed they were “fully aware of it, yes.”

Bake Off made Hollywood a household name and he moved with the show when it switched from the BBC to Channel 4 in 2016.

When asked about both his future and the future of the programme, he said: “I’m not going anywhere yet. Season 15 is starting soon. We’ll work on that, the American version and the Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off.

“So for the rest of the year it’s going to be full on Bake Off, which I love.

“It’s taken off as a global brand. We get these huge A-lister celebrities contacting me and coming onto the set.

Paul Hollywood said he would like to see Princess Ann on The Great British Bake Off Credit: PA Images

“We’re just gobsmacked. This little baking programme in a tent has created this huge stir.

“So I think it’s more of the same. It’s not broken, so pointless trying to fix it.

“The bakers every year get better and better. The standard is amazing and we all love being in our second home, which is the Bake Off tent.”

Hollywood also confirmed that he was working on a new book which will be about “celebrating Christmas, Easter and festivals throughout the year”.

He added: “It’s very much a celebratory side of baking. It’s more fun and more relaxed.”

Speaking after the ceremony, the celebrity baker said being made an MBE had left him feeling “very proud”.

“I was over the moon. When I first found out I told my mum and she was silent on the phone, which is quite unusual for my mum.

“I wish my nan had seen it. She was very fond of the royal family, as we all are.

“But specifically she would’ve been over the moon. But my mum was here today so she was loving it.”

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