PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 18:00, Tue, Oct 20, 2020
The 54-year-old first developed a love for baking while he stood on a chair watching his mother making apple pie and ginger biscuits as a child. He learned his notable bread making skills from his father after he was paid £500 during the Eighties to join the family business. While Paul found fame on the Great British Bake Off in 2010, before its move from the BBC to Channel 4, he admitted he “didn’t set out to be on the telly” and only wanted “to be a good baker”. The TV star is now known as the ‘pantomime villain’ of the show due to his steely stare and greatly sought-after ‘Hollywood handshake’. But in a surprising admission the star claimed he never intended for the gesture to have such meaning.
Paul claimed that it all started when he “shook a baker’s hand once to say well done” and it bizarrely became a big part of the show.
Despite the gesture becoming an unlikely hallmark of good baking on the programme, he confessed: “I don’t know when the Hollywood handshake really started.”
Since then, the star has leaned-in to the signature move and despite protests from Mary Berry until 2016 and now Prue Leith, he continues to use it sparingly.
Paul told Linked Magazine in 2018: “Even Prue now says ‘Go on, give them a Hollywood Handshake’, but I won’t unless I feel they have really earned it.”
Earlier this year, it was feared that the judge wouldn’t be able to use the handshake due to coronavirus.
But according to The Sun, producers gave him the 'Hollywood handshake' a thumbs-up due to regular COVID-19 testing on the show and all participants being in a “biosecure bubble”.