Paul Hollywood and his wife Alexandra have announced their separation, after 20 years of marriage. The Great British Bake Off judge and Alexandra – a chef – broke the news in a joint statement on Monday, asking for privacy during the "very difficult time". It read: "It is with sadness that we have decided to separate. Our focus continues to be the happiness of our son… we ask the press and public to allow us privacy during this very difficult time." The couple first met in Cyprus, where Paul was head baker at a five-star hotel, and Alexandra was working as a scuba diving teacher. They later married in 1998, and welcomed only child, son Josh, in October 2001.
The couple previously seperated back in 2013. Alex was left in "complete shock" when Paul left her after 15 years of marriage, having embarked on an affair with his American Baking Competition co-star Marcela Valladolid. Alexandra filed for divorce that year, receiving a £1.4million payout. Paul said at the time that he was "very sad" about what he had done. "It's my fault. I am very sad about what has happened. I do feel very sad about it and what it brought on the family."
Paul Hollywood and Alexandra have announced their seperation
Although the couple later reconciled, Paul called the affair "the biggest mistake" of his life. He told Radio 5 Live's Richard Bacon: "I did have an affair in America with my co-judge and it was the biggest mistake of my life because actually I still love my wife," he said, adding: "We are talking, we are working to get back together again but it's going to take time."
It was announced in September that Paul will be embarking on a new TV role in the US, having landed himself a judging role on The Great American Baking Show. The Sun revealed that the TV star would be appearing alongside fellow judge Johnny Iuzzini, having seen huge success in the UK. Paul’s GBBO former co-star Mary Berry had a brief stint on the US baking show but did not return. A source told the paper: "This is a big deal for Paul and he’s hoping that it will finally help him crack America." In a statement, the 50-year-old confirmed the news, saying that he was "delighted" to be staying on the baking competition. "It's been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn't turn my back on all that," he said.