Paul Hollywood is a celebrity chef and baker who has gained worldwide fame for being a judge on The Great British Bake Off, becoming a household name in the process. His career as a baker has seen him work in multiple hotels, visit exotic countries, and amass an impressive net worth.
His fame has involved lots of appearances on food shows and motoring programs. His choice of career is also not exempted him from the typical pitfalls of celebrity life, such as an infidelity scandal that brought his marriage to its knees. While his career may be larger than life now, it actually began humbly in his father’s bakery shop.
Paul Hollywood’s Father Inspired Him to Become a Baker
Paul Hollywood was born on the 1st of March, 1966, in the town of Wallasey, located in the borough of Wirral, Cheshire, England. Born Paul John Hollywood, he is the son of bakery owner – John F. Hollywood, and Gillian M. Harman. Paul attended secondary school at The Mosslands School. Then for college, he went to the Wallasey School of Art to study Sculpture.
Perhaps had his father owned another business, Paul would have chosen another profession. But as a young boy, he took an interest in his father’s work. So, despite an initial attempt at becoming a sculptor, Paul Hollywood redirected his creativity to baking.
He got started at the headquarters of Bread Winner— his father’s bakery at York before he moved on to work in other bakeries in the county of Merseyside. His baking skills helped propel him to head baker at several hotels in the UK. Some of these hotels include the Cliveden Hotel, The Dorchester, and Chester Grosvenor and Spa.
Years of blowing the minds of guests at various hotels gave Paul a continent-wide reputation in the hospitality industry. Thus, he attracted the interests of hotel managers and resort owners across Europe. Eventually, a resort in Cyprus won the battle for his services, and he left the UK to work at the Anassa Hotel and Annabelle Hotel in Paphos.
He Began His Long-Running Media Career in 2002
Paul spent his time delighting the taste buds of guests and fans at the Cyprus hotels. However, he also traveled around the world, expanding his knowledge of the different arts of baking bread. For this, he traveled to Egypt, Jordan, and a Bedouin encampment.
Upon his return to England, using the knowledge he had gained, he did two things – he started his bread company, Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread Company, and launched his media career with TV shows on the Carlton Food Network and Taste.
In 2005, he documented his knowledge in a published book, 100 Great Breads. The book won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for Top Bread and Pastry Book. The best-selling book has also sold millions of copies, and been published in ten countries and seven different languages.
In 2008, he gained further notoriety by creating Britain’s most expensive bread. The bread, made with almond and Roquefort, drew media attention and brought him further into the spotlight.
Five years after, thanks to the success of the book and his company, his media career went into full gear when he became a judge on the BBC program, The Great British Bake Off. He has been a judge and presenter on the show for more than a decade, appearing in over 97 episodes.
Thanks to his role on the BBC show, he began making guest appearances on other shows. Between 2010 and 2012, he made guest appearances on shows like That Sunday Night Show, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Breakfast, and a few others. By 2013, Paul Hollywood achieved one of the most coveted achievements for professional bakers and chefs – he got his own show.
He Has Nine Baking Shows to His Name
In 2013, he began the first of nine baking shows to his name thus far. He began hosting and presenting the TV documentary program, Paul Hollywood’s Bread, which spanned six episodes before it went off the air. In the same year, he hosted Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds. The lasted longer on the air, with a total of 20 episodes over one season.
Since then, he has hosted and/or presented other programs like Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life, Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip, and Use Your Loaf. Others include Paul Hollywood: City Bakes, The American Baking Competition, and The Great American Baking Show.
Outside of his own shows, he has appeared in several other projects, from one-off appearances in Sunday Brunch, The Steph Show, to multiple appearances in Loose Women, The Great Sport Relief Bake Off, Children in Need, and others. So far, his media career has seen Paul Hollywood appear in more than fifty shows. He has also released five other books, bringing his bibliography to over six published works.
Paul Hollywood’s Career Has Earned Him A $15 Million Net Worth
A baking career that spanned more than two decades and a media career of over 15 years has helped Paul Hollywood to a net worth of $15 million. He has earned his money from having multiple shows, several published works, and his bread company.
Paul’s finances have also significantly benefited from a decade-long role on the popular baking show, The Great British Bake Off. He earns an estimated £400,000 ($531,500) on the show, following a pay raise in 2018. He also makes money as a public speaker. The silver-haired baker is a regular fixture at food festivals, where he shares his expertise with thousands of baked food enthusiasts.
Other sources of income for Paul include his collection of kitchen utensils in partnership with Kitchen Craft, and assets owned by his other company, Paul Hollywood Limited.
In turn, Paul has been able to indulge in a few luxury expenses, such as a car collection that includes a prized Aston Martin DB9, valued at £135k (approximately $172k). The car is part of Paul’s interest in motor racing, which has birthed a side career as a car racer. He has competed at the Britcar Trophy Championship, Le Mans, GT Cup, Dunlop Endurance Race, and Circuit of the Americas.
His Marriage Ended Because Of His Infidelity
While he was the head baker at a Cyprus hotel, Paul Hollywood met a scuba diving instructor named Alexandra. They began dating and tied the knot in 1998. By October 2001, the couple welcomed their son, Josh.
Tension arose in the Hollywood family when rumors of an affair between Paul and his The American Baking Competition co-host Marcela Valladolid began to circulate. He eventually confirmed the extramarital affair, and the couple separated in 2013.
However, Paul Hollywood was able to end the affair and get back with his wife, Alexandra. Both Paul and his wife would confirm to the public that they were working things out. Sadly, the threat of almost losing his marriage did not send Paul off the path of infidelity.
In 2017, pictures of Paul Hollywood and former British Bake Off winner Candice Brown made the rounds amidst new rumors of infidelity. Paul and Candice both denied the allegations, but in the end, Paul and his wife announced later that they would be getting a divorce.
Reports stated that Paul’s growing fame kept putting a strain on the marriage, and the damage from his first affair never really got fixed. They finalized their divorce on November 20, 2017.
He Has Been in Two Notable Relationships Since The Divorce
Since the divorce, Paul Hollywood has been in two known relationships. In the same year his marriage ended, he began a two-year affair with Summer Monteys-Fullam. The two reportedly met at Paul’s local drinking hole in the summer of 2017.
The couple began an official relationship shortly afterward, spanning two-years until August 2019. The relationship supposedly ended after Summer refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would have prevented her from discussing her relationship with the baker. While they were together, the couple lived in Paul’s home in the Ashford countryside, which he bought for £1 million in February 2019.
With Paul single again, he was back in the dating pool, and it did not take long before he was off the market again. He began a relationship with pub owner, Melissa Spalding in late 2019. Just as he met his former girlfriend, Paul and Melissa met while he was drinking in her pub, in a location not so far from his country home.
Over time, Melissa became a regular fixture in his home, and photos of them together featured in tabloids and gossip websites. About a year after they met, the two moved in together. Paul and Melissa made the decision as part of their pandemic precaution and to take their relationship to the next level.