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Co-star romances and age-gap relationships: All of Paul Hollywood’s biggest controversies

He’s back handing out handshakes on another series of The Great British Bake Off

From bin-gate to stolen custard, The Great British Bake Off has never been short of drama. But, as the show returns for another series, fans on Twitter have been looking back on Paul Hollywood’s biggest controversies – both in and outside of the tent.

So, as he hands out handshakes on the latest season of the show, here’s everything you need to know about Paul’s affair with his American Baking Competition co-star, his subsequent 23-year-old girlfriend, his Italian speeding offences and the time he made a “thoughtless” joke about diabetes:

His affair with his American Baking Competition co-star Marcela Valladolid

Back in 2013, Paul had an affair with the chef and author Marcela Valladolid while filming with her for the US version of Bake Off. The relationship led to him splitting from his then-wife Alex, and they eventually divorced after a brief reconciliation in 2019 and 20 years together. “My own marriage was too over seasoned with extra marital affairs for my taste and so I opted out and chose the single menu instead,” Alex later said of the whole ordeal.

His subsequent relationship with a 23-year-old who he’d met at his local pub years before

After Paul was divorced, it was quickly publicised he was dating Summer Monteys-Fullam – who was 29 years younger than him. He got to know her while she was working in his local pub, The Duke William in Ickham, where she met him in 2017 and later quit her job when they became close, according to reports at the time. Their relationship seemed to be moving quickly as Paul bought a £1million home in Kent to share with Summer. But by 2021, they’d split when Summer allegedly refused to sign an NDA prohibiting her from talking about her time with Paul with anybody else. She later branded the entire relationship “disastrous”.

Being part of a ‘homophobic’ joke on Twitter after an alleged feud with Noel Fielding

When there were rumours of a feud between Noel and Paul Hollywood in 2017 Noel took to Twitter to squash the claims but sparked heavy criticism for alleged homophobia. “This should put to rest any rumours that me and blue eyes @PaulHollywood don’t get on 🙂 ha ha ha x,” he wrote alongside a photo of him bending over in front of Paul.

“mmmmmmmmmmmmmm homophobia,” one person replied. “I like you @noelfielding11, but you’ve got some growing up to do. I’d expect this of Paul (not that that’s ok) but not of you,” another person responded.

Getting stopped by police for speeding while filming his own TV show

As if 2017 couldn’t get anymore chaos for Paul, he was also pulled over by the police in Italy while filming his show Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Trip for BBC2 with Bruno Tonioli. The pair were stopped by Italian police while driving a bright orange Lamborghini. “The problem is, Italians see the Autostrada [motorway] as god’s own race track. So the traffic police out here are properly tooled up,” said Paul.

When he made a ‘thoughtless’ joke about diabetes which Twitter totally hated

Back in 2019, Paul faced the fury of Twitter after he made a joke about a contestant’s Chelsea buns. He claimed the currant bun looked like “diabetes on a plate,” which many users rushed to point out was ignorant. “Will be making a formal complaint to @Channel4 about @PaulHollywood saying “diabetes on a plate” on #GBBO,” wrote one viewer. “It’s these comments that I fight everyday as a type 1 diabetic with no prevention and no cure.”

Paul later apologised for the comment, writing on Instagram: “A sweet treat, Chelsea buns … a remark re:- diabetes I made on tonight’s show was thoughtless and I meant no harm, as both my grandad and my own mother suffer/ suffered from diabetes… apologies X.”

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Featured image credit via Channel 4