Great British Bake-Off star Paul Hollywood will no longer be appearing on this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. The ‘George Clooney of baking’ had been linked to the popular Saturday night show – but now it seems BBC bosses have had a change of heart.
While some reports state that Paul turned down the chance to appear on the programme in order to spend time with his son Joshua, others say that the BBC decided to drop him from the line-up.
Paul, 47, was reportedly offered £35,000 to appear on Strictly, but executives decided to withdraw their offer after he apparently demanded a £50,000 salary – and the break-down of his marriage was linked to an affair with his co-star Marcela Valladolid.
The couple first met while filming The American Baking Competition, and it didn’t take long for reports to emerge that they had become romantically involved. Those rumours didn’t win them any fans over in the States – an audience outcry about their alleged romance, combined with poor ratings, were said to be the major factors behind the decision to scrap the show after just one season.
The scandal is also thought to have cost Paul his marriage to his wife of 15 years Alexandra.
Despite that, it seems the relationship is going ahead. At the weekend, Paul and Marcela, 35, were pictured walking around Majorca together, looking very much like a couple. It is the first time they have been seen together since they were romantically linked.
The British baker appeared to have put all his troubles behind him as he soaked up the sun in Spain with Marcela and her nine-year-old son Fausto. Residents and other holidaymakers in the island’s capital Palma, said the pair gave the appearance of being a “loving and happy family”.
On Tuesday, they joined a group of nine adults and six children, thought to be friends of Marcela, for lunch at the El Bungalow seafood restaurant on the beach at Ciudad Jardin.
Waitress Carmen Garcia said that Paul and Marcela “were very affectionate with each other. They were relaxed and seemed to be having a good time. They looked like a loving, happy family.”