The Bake Off judge has spoken out (Picture: Channel 4)
The TV judge previously came to the defence of 2020 finalist Laura Adlington, blasting the ‘disgusting behaviour’ of vicious online bullies.
Ahead of the new series of the hit Channel 4 show, Paul said that while he is used to receiving abuse, the new contestants are ‘raw, they’re new, they’re not used to this’.
‘I had to come out last year in support of Laura because it was out of order,’ he stressed.
‘It had gone out of control, and it is so easy in lockdown when people have got nothing else to do, and all they’re going to do is bombard someone they’re not particularly happy with, and you can’t feed into people like that, you’ve got to be really careful – and so I had to say something.
‘I think ultimately, you’re always going to get sides, you know, it’s like football – you’re always going to get one side against another, but I think ultimately as long as you support them, and Bake Off do, I saw what was happening and I had to say something.’
Meet the new batch of bakers (Picture: Channel 4)
Paul added that being on the receiving end of trolling is ‘difficult’.
‘Ultimately, I’ve had to deal with a lot of stuff, it is what it is, there’s a backlash and you get used to it to a point, but it still upsets me,’ he added.
‘I’m a judge on a baking show, I’m not a politician, I’m not anything else – I’m just a baker and I get bombarded with stuff that I shouldn’t be bombarded with.
‘So, I’ve learned to live with it, however difficult it is, but it’s not fair on the bakers because they’re raw, they’re new, they’re not used to this, and you’ve got to be really careful.
Bake Off star Laura Adlington was trolled last year (Picture: Channel 4)
‘This can damage people, this really, really hurt people, and I think you’ve got to be really careful. There’ll be a backlash and you just don’t want it, it’s not fair.’
Fellow Bake Off judge Prue Leith agreed and said that the abusive messages are ‘such a pity’.
‘It’s just awful that Bake Off contestants should be victimised in that way,’ she remarked.
The beloved baking series will return to screens later this month after the show was once again filmed in a bubble because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 on September 21.
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