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Paul Hollywood awarded MBE in 2024 New Year Honours

Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood who has been made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours list, for services to baking and to broadcasting. <i>(Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)</i>
Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood who has been made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year Honours list, for services to baking and to broadcasting. (Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, whose handshake is a highly coveted honour on the show, has been made an MBE.

He has appeared on the show since 2010, first with Dame Mary Berry and now with Dame Prue Leith, appraising the efforts of amateur bakers.

A “Hollywood handshake” is the highest praise he offers and they are distributed sparingly to competitors who have impressed him with a bake.

Hollywood, 57, who is honoured for services to baking and broadcasting, grew up in the Wirral, near Liverpool, and initially trained to be a sculptor before he joined his family’s business and became a professional baker.

He has worked at some of the most exclusive hotels in England, including Cliveden House in Berkshire, The Chester Grosvenor and The Dorchester in London.

In 2007, he launched the Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread company and served bread to well-known grocers, including Harrods.

The luxury London store sold a £15 Roquefort and almond sourdough, created by Hollywood, and in a 2008 article The Telegraph claimed it was the most expensive loaf in Britain.

The business was liquidated in 2014.

By 2010, Hollywood had firmly established his career in TV, which began when he appeared on Carlton Food Network, later known as Taste CFN, alongside James Martin.

Since then he has shared his culinary tricks on shows including ITV’s This Morning and former UKTV food show Great Food Live, as well as Bake Off.

He has authored a number of cookbooks including How To Bake (2012), Bread (2013) and The Weekend Baker (2016).

Another book called Pies And Puds was released following a 2013 TV series of the same name in which Hollywood created bakes including an apple and Wensleydale pie, frangipane tart, sponge pudding and sausage rolls.

The Bake Off judge has a fondness for cars, and he fronted the Netflix show Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip in 2017.

He has also presented the 2020 Channel 4 food travelogue Paul Hollywood Eats Japan.

In 2022, the TV star embarked on a nationwide live tour called Paul Hollywood Live and appeared in front of audiences with a fully equipped kitchen to share “tricks of the trade”.

Hollywood also judges alongside Dame Prue on the US version of Bake Off, the Great American Baking Show.



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