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Were Paul Hollywood’s late-night drinks with Candice Brown the final nail in marriage-split coffin?

Bake Off judge has announced his separation

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Paul Hollywood has announced he has separated from his wife of 19 years.

The pair had been trying to work through their difficulties after the TV chef admitted to having an affair with Marcela Valladolid, his co-star on the US version of Bake Off, back in 2013.

Paul Hollywood and his wife Alex have announced their separation (Credit: Instagram/Alexandra Hollywood)

But now he has said it is “with sadness” that he and Alexandra, also a chef, have decided to go their separate ways.

It seems the final nail in the coffin was a flirtation Paul, 51, appeared to have with former Bake Off winner Candice Brown, 32, at the recent Pride Of Britain awards.

The pair have remained friends since she appeared in the Bake Off tent and enjoyed late night drinks together at the ceremony last month along with others including Stacey Solomon.

But when Paul and Candice said their goodbyes after their fun night out by giving one another a peck on the cheek, a unfortunately timed snap appeared to show them kissing.

Paul Hollywood hugs Candice Brown after she won the Great British Bake Off and the pair have remained friends (Credit: BBC)

Both Paul and Candice, who is happily engaged to Liam Macaulay, laughed off the picture at the time but it can’t have been pleasant for Alex to see her husband appearing to lock lips with the Bake Off beauty.

His hand was also placed behind Candice’s head making it seem even more like he was pulling her into a passionate embrace.

Read more: The truth about Jamie Lomas’s split from Kym Marsh 

Candice, who is currently rehearsing to appear on Dancing On Ice alongside planning her wedding, made light of the photo on Twitter, joking that “invisibility cloaks must be real” as the photos implied she and Paul were enjoying drinks alone when they were in fact part of a group.

She added that it would have to be, “no kisses or hugs hello or goodbye from now on – handshakes or waves only!”

Paul retweeted her messages saying the story implying more than just a goodbye peck was going on was “incredible”.

He also thanked Stacey for setting the record straight as she tweeted there was “no intimate kisses from where I was standing.”

Paul had been at the ceremony without Alex, who has accompanied him on the red carpet at previous showbiz bashes in the past.

He has now announced they have split.

Candice is engaged to be married and laughed off a picture that appeared to show her locking lips with Paul at the Pride of Britain awards (Credit: Instagram/Candice Brown)

His statement read: “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.”

Read more: Dancing On Ice “in chaos” as competitors reportedly quit after backstage bust-up

Paul and Alex tied the knot in 1998 and they have a teenage son together.

They previously split after the baker admitted to an affair, which he later described as “the biggest mistake of my life.”

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