‘Great British Baking Show’: Paul Hollywood’s Love Life Was Once Messier Than Some of the Bakes on the Show

Great British Baking Show star Paul Hollywood has been a judge on the popular competition series since it began in 2010. At that time, he was a Christian family man who was married to his lovely wife Alex and they shared a son named Josh. But fame and fortune changed Hollywood and made his love life messier than some of the bakes on the show.

Great British Baking Show head judge Paul Hollywood attends the 21st National Television Awards at The O2 Arena on January 20, 2016 in London, England
Paul Hollywood | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

‘Great British Baking Show’ star Paul Hollywood was thought to have a near-perfect marriage

Before he became a judge on the Great British Bake Off — as it’s known in the United Kingdom — Hollywood met his wife at a luxury hotel in Cyprus. He was the head baker and she was a scuba diving instructor, and the romance blossomed quickly.

The couple married two years after they met and moved back to the UK in 1999 before Josh arrived in 2001. And it was Alex who first had the idea that her husband should give TV a try after watching Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef.

Hollywood got his break when a TV crew unexpectedly visited a hotel where he and Alex worked to make a show about Cypriot food. His wife told the crew that Hollywood would be perfect for the show, and that resulted in a screen test.

“They put him in front of a camera and you could just see how brilliant he was. He dominated the screen,” Alex recalled, per The Mirror. “After they had finished filming, the production team said to me: ‘He needs to go back to the UK and get an agent.'”

Paul Hollywood’s love life got messier than some of the bakes on his show

Hollywood landed that gig and went on to write the best-selling cookbook 100 Great Breads. That led to The Great British Bake Off, and that series made him a star. It also transformed the family man into a “silver fox” and won him thousands of female fans. But despite his newfound status as a sex symbol, Alex said she trusted her husband completely. 

That all changed, though, when Hollywood flew to the US to shoot the American version of the series in 2013. That’s when he had an affair with his fellow judge and TV chef Marcela Valladolid. He later called the affair the biggest mistake of his life. 

“Most of what was being said was a lie or a twisted truth. The truth was very different to what the tabloids were writing. The press intrusion can be such a horrible thing to deal with, and it isn’t fair, because there’s no right to reply,” Hollywood said, per Hello! Magazine.

The baker and his wife reconciled a few months after his affair, but they called it quits for good in 2017 after 20 years of marriage. 

“In the last few months [of his marriage], Alex had completely given up on their relationship. The trust was totally gone. She just didn’t want to make it work anymore,” a source dished at the time. “She feels fame has changed him. He’s not the same man she fell for all those years ago.”

The ‘Great British Breaking Show’ judge met his current girlfriend at the same hotel he met his wife

Just a few months after his split from Alex, Hollywood started dating 23-year-old barmaid Summer Monteys-Fullam — a woman 29 years his junior. That relationship lasted two years but fell apart when he allegedly asked her to sign an NDA to make sure she wouldn’t talk about their romance. She was reportedly expecting a proposal.

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After that breakup, Hollywood started dating B&B owner Melissa Spalding. According to The Metro UK, romance rumors began in late 2019 when they were spotted together at a five-star hotel in Cyprus. It was the exact same hotel where Hollywood met his wife Alex decades earlier. 

Spalding reportedly moved into Hollywood’s 18th-century farmhouse during the lockdowns, and the couple is still together.

New episodes of the Great British Baking Show drop Fridays on Netflix.