Great British Bake Off Star Paul Hollywood and his wife are SEPARATING after nearly 20 years of marriage
- Paul and Alexandra Hollywood say 'it is with sadness we've decided to separate'
- The 51-year-old Bake Off host was seen kissing Candice Brown earlier this month
- A spokesman for the pair insisted it was 'an innocent kiss on the cheek'
- The £10m star admitted an affair with his US co-host Marcela Valladolid in 2013
Great British Bake Off host Paul Hollywood and his wife Alex are separating after nearly 20 years of marriage.
The couple said in a joint statement: 'It is with sadness that we have decided to separate.
'Our focus continues to be the happiness of our son, and we would ask the press and public to allow us privacy as a family during this very difficult time.'
Earlier this month Paul, 51, was pictured kissing the winner of the seventh season of Bake Off, Candice Brown, 32.
The Bake Off host, who is now worth £10million, split from his wife, 53, temporarily in 2013 after admitting an affair with his US co-star Marcela Valladolid, 39.
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Great British Break Up: Host Paul Hollywood, 51, and his wife Alex, 53 (pictured) are separating after nearly 20 years of marriage, they have said in a joint statement
Series seven winner Candice, who recently announced her engagement to Liam Macauley, was spotted with Paul as he cupped the back of her head and kissed her goodbye following a night out at the Pride of Britain Awards in London.
She was also seen toying with Paul's ear as they relaxed at the table at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
After the images were released, Candice branded it a 'goodbye peck'.
A spokesman for the pair said it was an 'innocent kiss on the cheek', and that it was 'untrue' to describe it as an 'intimate kiss'.
Paul Hollywood and newly-engaged baker Candice Brown were spotted locking lips after the Pride of Britain Awards earlier this month
A spokesman for the pair insisted it was a 'goodbye peck' and it was inaccurate to describe the moment as an 'intimate kiss'
Paul Hollywood is pictured with Marcela Valladolid with whom he had an affair
Hollywood, 51, and Valladolid, 39 (pictured) admitted having an affair in 2013. The British baker later described it as 'the biggest mistake of my life'
The representative, who was also there on the night, told MailOnline: 'Following The Mirror Pride of Britain Awards last Monday, seven of us including Paul and Candice were seated outside waiting for cars home.
'The photograph was taken as Paul was saying goodbye to each of us.'
There was no one in tonight at the Hollywoods' cottage, which sits on a remote country lane near Canterbury, Kent.
Bake Off winner Candice Brown is pictured today leaving training for Dancing On Ice
One neighbour said they didn't even know Hollywood lived at the £1.4million farmhouse, which the family moved into last year.
Mr and Mrs Hollywood, who is also a chef, married in 1998, and have a teenage son together, Joshua.
They previously separated in 2013 when the TV chef admitted his affair with Marcela Valladolid, his co-star on the US version of Bake Off.
The American spin-off was cancelled after just one series for having poor ratings.
The couple reconciled a few months later and he described the incident as 'the biggest mistake of my life' in an interview with BBC radio.
Speaking at the time, he told the BBC he 'was shocked about the whole thing kicking off the way it did... but I deserved it and I've taken it. It was my punishment.'
The baker will return as a judge for the second series of Channel 4's The Great British Bake Off next year.
Alex Hollywood (pictured right) on holiday in Cyprus with her husband Paul (pictured left)
Alexandra Hollywood (pictured) is also a chef and has been married to Paul since 1998
Happier times: Paul and Alexandra Hollywood are pictured on holiday
On the rise: How Paul Hollywood bloomed from being the son of a Liverpool baker to the star of Britain's biggest TV show
Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has gained a reputation for his steely gaze, his firm handshake of approval and his bread-making expertise.
Born in Merseyside in March 1966, Hollywood has followed the family baking tradition.
With a grandfather who was head baker at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, a young Hollywood worked at his father's bakery in York.
Inspired by the hard-won success of his father, who had a chain of bakeries, he later became a baker at hotels around Britain including the Dorchester in London.
The now-separated couple are pictured kissing at the National Television Awards in 2015
Hollywood also worked at resorts in Cyprus, and stayed there for six years after falling in love with both the island and future wife Alexandra.
In 1999, after returning to the UK, he co-hosted digital channel Taste's Use Your Loaf alongside TV chef James Martin, who went on to present Saturday Kitchen.
Hollywood also gained a reputation as an authority on bread making with his best-selling cookery book 100 Great Breads.
But despite his TV appearance Hollywood was still a relative unknown.
That all changed in 2010 when the launch of the Great British Bake Off made him a household name.
The couple are pictured on a trip to Cliveden House in Berkshire in May last year
The show became a national favourite and Hollywood's chemistry with Mary Berry was seen as one of the main reasons for its success.
On the back of this, he set out to conquer the US with The American Baking Competition - with Marcela Valladolid at his side as co-judge.
However, the show was cancelled after one series and also led to marriage trouble for Hollywood, after he embarked on an alleged affair with Valladolid.
Hollywood was the only member of the original line-up of Bake Off to jump ship with the show to Channel 4, saying: 'I just couldn't turn my back on all that.'
He was lured to its new home by a reported £1.2million three-year pay deal.
Hollywood presented The Great British Bake Off alongside Mary Berry until the show moved from the BBC to Channel 4 this year
Hollywood is pictured in 2000 when he filmed an ITV documentary called The History of Bread
Inspired by the hard-won success of his father, who had a chain of bakeries, Hollywood (pictured in 2000) later became a baker at hotels around Britain including the Dorchester in London
Hollywood set up a new company, PJH Media, in 2013 to channel the profits of his growing media empire.
That year he also started selling a range of personalised merchandise on his personal website.
A T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan Get Your Bake On was priced at £15 and hoodies at £35.
Hollywood was still relatively unknown before he hit the big time with the Great British Bake Off in 2010
Fans were also offered the chance to buy a spoon and whisk keychain for £7, tea towel sets for £8, tote bags for £8 each and signed tour programmes for £13.
In 2014, Hollywood toured up and down the country with his sell-out Get Your Bake On! masterclasses.
The 23-date tour saw him mix baking advice and demonstrations with smutty puns and innuendo, shocking and delighting his largely female audience.
The only part of Hollywood's empire which is not booming is, ironically, his baking business.
Three years ago it emerged he had closed down his artisan bakery after it ran up nearly £60,000 in debts.
It followed the failure of Hollywood Bread, which was dissolved with debts of £262,000 in 2003.
Hollywood's father John, now 73, lives in Alicante having retired from baking, but sources close to the Bake Off star say he will not rest until he steps out from his shadow.
The source added: 'Despite his TV career the achievements of his father remain out of reach and that bothers him.'
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