Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood ‘allowed’ to break social distancing rules to give famous handshake

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Paul Hollywood has reportedly been given permission to give his famous handshake to praise contestants on the Great British Bake Off.

The 54 year old GBBO judge’s trademark move was put under threat as the cast returned to film the new series because of social distancing rules.

But, Paul, who "devastated" Sue Perkins over their feud, has reportedly been given the green light to exchange a handshake with GBBO hopefuls as the cast and crew have been in an isolation bubble and are having regular test for the coronavirus.

A show’s source said: “In these strange times, producers want the 2020 series to be as close to normal as possible and they feel that it wouldn’t be the same without a Hollywood handshake.

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“The judges and hosts — and the contestants — have all been deemed clear because of the bio-secure bubble and regular testing.”

They continued to The Sun Online: “So if the baking is up to scratch, we’ll see some handshakes, and not elbow bumps, being dished out before long.”

Silver fox Paul’s handshakes have become somewhat of a staple on the Great British Bake Off over the years and has become a must-have for contestants on the show, as it signifies they have reached Paul’s high standards on a certain bake.

Filming for the new series of the popular baking show commenced earlier this week, with Matt Lucas, who replaced Sandi Toksvig as co-presenter alongside Noel Fielding, was reportedly sick on the first day of filming.

It was claimed that comedian Matt, 46, was sick after he had opted to eat all 12 contestants’ signature bakes, which caused him to have an upset stomach.

A source told The Sun: “When he saw all the treats on offer he took the opportunity to do what he couldn’t as a viewer — taste them.

“But there’s a reason Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith only take small mouthfuls when they’re judging and why co-host Noel Fielding only samples the bakes every now and again.”

The source revealed that Matt had been “very excited” about being part of the show, which caused him to throw himself into the show to experience it in full.


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Originally, there were concerns GBBO would not be going ahead this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has paused filming for a number of shows.

But, last week it was confirmed the 2020 series will be going ahead, despite a filming delay of three months.

Amid filming for the new series, Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey revealed that production was “going very well” as it was reported the judges and presenters went into quarantine ahead of filming.

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