Paul Hollywood has issued a grovelling apology for “any offence caused” after pictures surfaced showing him clad in a Nazi uniform.
The Great British Bake Off judge spoke out after an image was published by The Sun on Sunday showing him wearing a Nazi costume including a swastika around his arm while at a pub in Kent.
Also included in Paul’s costume was a badge featuring a Nazi eagle.
Understandably, the photo raised eyebrows and now Paul, 51, has explained the image was taken 14 years ago en route to a costume party.
He said his group of friends dressed as characters from the World War Two-based comedy series ‘Allo ‘Allo.
In a statement, he said: “I am absolutely devastated if this caused offence to anyone.
“The picture was taken 14 years ago en route to a Comedy TV Shows Themed New Year’s Eve Party and a group of us dressed up as characters from the classic TV show ‘Allo ‘Allo.
“Everyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly proud of the efforts of those, including my own grandfather, who fought against the Nazis during the war.”
Paul appeared in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? in 2015 in which he learned about his grandfather’s heroics during World War Two.
He previously told the Radio Times he was “humbled” to learn about his grandfather’s past.
“My mum and dad got divorced when I was quite young, so grandad was very much a father figure when I was growing up,” he said.
“His job was to take out the Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf fighters.
“He learnt how to spot them and how they flew, so he could track them.”
The fancy dress party took place in 2003, seven years before Paul became a household name in Bake Off.
Paul, 51, followed The Great British Bake Off from BBC to Channel 4 earlier this year and is part of the current lineup alongside fellow judge Prue Leith and presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig.
A rep for Channel 4 told The Guardian Paul’s costume was a “personal matter” and they would not be commenting.