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Q&A with Paul Hollywood

By Stephanie Tye

We catch up with Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood ahead of his arrival in Oxford with his Get Your Bake On tour.

Why did you decide to do a one man tour?

I really wanted to do something different. People have one image of me from The Great British Bake Off, as the stern judge who gives out criticism and I’ve got another image on shows like Pies & Puds which show the real me, which is basically a bit of a joker!

So by going on a one man tour the public will get to see the cheekier side of my persona and learn a bit about my life.

What will the audience see on the tour?

Basically I am taking baking on the road and the premise is the story of my life in baking; how my Dad persuaded me to ditch my path of being a trained sculptor and join the family business.

Tales from my time as a head baker at some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and of course anecdotes from my time filming The Great British Bake Off.

I’ll also be answering all those baking questions people ask me on twitter or in the street.

Paul Hollywood Get Your Bake On - New Theatre Oxford

Are you not nervous to be doing a one man show?

Yes! The idea of a live show is a bit daunting, especially as I’ll be going to some venues such as the Hammersmith Apollo which to me feels like being a rock n' roll star! But I have done a lot of demonstrations over the years sometimes to an audience of thousands at shows like BBC Good Food etc so I have some confidence when it comes to talking to a large audience.

Will there be any surprises on the tour?

Yes, we’ll be inviting a selected number of people up from the audience who will get a little masterclass from me and be able to test out their own skills. It should be really good fun, I always see teaching as part of my job.

We hear that during Bake Off you sometimes get fits of giggles during filming, are you worried about doing that on the tour?

Mary, Mel Sue and I are always laughing and messing about on set, I’m not sure what sets it off half the time, it can sometimes be something as small as the way Mel or Sue look at me! And I have been known to succumb to an attack of the giggles during demonstrations, there was one demonstration I did when I just lost it on stage and ended up with a huge attack of the giggles which just wouldn’t stop!

Is there a new series of The Great British Bake Off this year?

Yes, I’ll actually start filming for the new series during the tour so it’s going to be a full on couple of months. The show has been given a new home on BBC One this year which will be a great new platform for it.

I just can’t believe how successful it has been, I thought it would just last two series but each year it just gets bigger and bigger, more people watched last year’s final than X Factor which is just amazing. Although we are moving channels the show will stay the same, after all if its not broken why change it?

How is it working with Mary Berry?

What you see with Mary is what you get, she really is such a lovely woman, an absolute breath of fresh air and we’ve become really good friends.

When we are working all the time I have to admit I can get a bit tired but Mary is like a Duracell bunny, she just keeps going and never stops! Whenever I pass her house I’ll always pop in for a cup of tea and she’ll always have a slice of cake available!

What else have you got coming up Paul?

I am working on a new book and a new series to follow Pies & Puds, it can be hard fitting it all in as there is always something going on, but I like it that way especially when it’s all so much fun to work on.

Get Your Bake On is at the New Theatre Oxford on May 9 at 8pm.

To book for this show and more log on to www.atgtickets.com/oxford or call 0844 871 3020.