When fans of The Great British Bake Off look at the fallout of the show’s move from BBC One to Channel Four—losing three of its beloved hosts, Mary Berry, Sue Perkins, and Mel Giedroyc, in the process—it’s easy to see Paul Hollywood, the only one who stuck around, as the villain. (It doesn’t help that Hollywood is the closest thing the almost perversely gentle cooking competition has to a “bad guy,” playing the stern-faced bad cop to Berry’s scrummy sweetness.) Hollywood responded to that perception in a recent interview with Closer magazine—one of the first he’s given on his feelings about the changeover—remarking that he’s getting a little tired of people calling him a “traitor” for the crime of not wanting to lose his job.
“It has been hard because I was called a traitor over my decision to leave the BBC to go to Channel 4,” Hollywood told Closer (with the quotes re-printed in The Daily Mail). “The other three left for whatever reason but I didn’t want to lose my job. The show found me and I didn’t want to turn my back on them.” (He also noted that he’s still filming other programs for the BBC, where Bake has made him a national celebrity.)
Hollywood was quick to pivot to positivity about the series’ new cast, noting that, “I have missed Mary, Mel and Sue, and when I started filming the new Bake Off it was hard,“ but that he’s had “tears rolling down my face” from the antics of new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.