The son of a baker, Paul originally trained as a sculptor before his father persuaded him to join the family business.
He went onto become head baker at some of the most exclusive hotels, including Cliveden, The Chester Grosvenor and The Dorchester, gaining a reputation as an innovator and one of the country’s finest artisan bakers.
Following his apprenticeship and success at some of the UK’s top hotels, Paul took the opportunity to travel extensively through Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan, visiting remote villages to discover ancient techniques for baking bread, and, on one occasion, travelling to a Bedouin encampment and baking in the desert on an upturned cooking pot.
On his return to the England, he launched the Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread Company, and now supplies Waitrose, and others, with his own branded bread.
Paul began his media career on Carlton Food Network and Taste in 2002 where he co-presented two TV series with James Martin.
Paul has been a judge on The Great British Bake Off (for three series) and Junior Bake Off, and has judged celebrity versions for Sport Relief and Comic Relief all alongside Mary Berry. In May 2013 he appeared as a judge on the new US version of Bake Off, The American Baking Competition which aired on CBS. His recent series Paul Hollywood’s Bread was broadcast in the UK on BBC2 in March 2013. Paul makes regular appearances on BBC and ITV.
In 2005, he published a best-selling book ‘100 Great Breads’ which has been published in ten countries and seven languages, and was voted ‘Top Bread and Pastry book’ by the Gourmand Academy. His second book ‘How to Bake’, published by Bloomsbury, came out in summer 2012 and quickly went on to the top of the bestseller lists. The book to accompany his Bread series came out in February 2013, with his Pies and Puds book hitting shelves in October 2013 to coincide with the programme of the same name. Paul Hollywood’s British Baking came out in October 2014 and The Weekend Baker was published in 2016.
Paul makes regular contributions to The BBC Good Food Magazine, Olive Magazine, Waitrose Magazine and has written for both The Observer and The Daily Mail. In September 2013, he became a columnist for the The Telegraph.
Paul advises and trains at corporate level, working extensively with the Flour Advisory Board, as well as hosting and presenting large demonstrations and award ceremonies.
In 2014 Paul undertook his first live tour, Paul Hollywood – Get Your Bake On! which saw him hosting an evening of live baking, comedy and fun at theatres across the country.