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BBC Great British Bake Off: Paul Hollywood warns he could say goodbye to coveted handshake used to reward contestants




Judge Paul Hollywood’s famous handshake could be recorded in The Great British Bake Offs history books as he revealed it may be his final year.

Competitors who particularly impress Paul with a pastry have been rewarded with a shake since the third season. He’s a judge with high standards, so the gesture has been coveted over the years.

But in last week’s semi-final, the judge failed to shake hands with Jurgen, even though the baker had won the technical challenge for his Murder at the Opera cakes.

READ MORE:Channel 4 Great British Bake Off: Favorite to win tonight’s final revealed with baker behind the others

And then Paul shook hands with rival competitors Crystelle, Giuseppe, and Chigs for their layered slices of pastry.

Fans went wild, forcing Paul to defend his decision, reported the Mirror . He blamed the cooking level too high, saying: The semi-final was harder to judge – picking all three for the final was tough.

When the judge is very impressed, he offers the desired shake
(Image: Channel 4)

We had three very good bakers, all had taken trips in one form or another and all were very, very talented. I mean, the handshakes this year, there have been a few and I did a very, very unusual thing.

The problem is, if I set the bar higher, I won’t give a handshake. I think I’ll stop the handshakes this year. I could make this last year.

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Judge Prue Leith said it was important to keep a distance from the contestants to make sure the judgment was fair, commenting: We were going to judge them, so we don’t get to know them too.

Paul added that he had to be sensitive to remarks – and even threats – from viewers.

He explained: We have the smell, the taste and the touch that people who watch [dont]. This is what we rely on to judge.

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