The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has likened the reaction of his move to Channel 4 with the popular cooking programme to that of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.
This year’s October finale – that saw Candice Brown beat rivals Jane Beedle and Andrew Smyth to claim victory – marked the last time the show aired on the BBC before it moves to Channel 4 next year, bar a one-off Christmas special later this month.
Judge Mary Berry and hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have announced they will not move with the show, with co-judge Paul the only member of the original team going to Channel 4.
He told The Times Magazine he was surprised by the vitriolic reaction his decision elicited.
The 50-year-old said: “I will always be a villain. I was sort of expecting it. But when it hit me, it was like an express train.
“I haven’t murdered anyone. But I think the Yorkshire Ripper got less press than I did.”
He said the coverage was “out of control” and he “nearly spewed my cornflakes all over the TV” when he saw it running on BBC Breakfast one morning.
He said: “I was really shocked. I was sitting there with the family. I thought, ‘What?’”
He went on to reveal he was “gutted” when Giedroyc and Perkins announced their decision and did not have direct contact with Berry in the week before the issue was finalised.
Paul also seemed to suggest his choice had paid off financially, posing: “Would you work across the road? If you could double your wages, by going across the road to a rival, would you?”