Paul Hollywood dazzled not just the tastebuds and ladies of Surrey with his new show Get Your Bake On, but left Kris Bramwell wanting to learn more in the kitchen...
“You’re gorgeous!” came the cry from one woman to the left of us as the master baker came on to the stage for the first time. Dubbed ‘the silver fox’ by his legions of adoring fans, the aptly named Mr Hollywood barely had chance to reach for his rolling pin before the cries of adulation started from the audience.
With that easygoing northern charm we know so well from The Great British Bake Off, Paul was as at home on stage as his cooking is homely. Engaging and entertaining, the Wirral-born star set about encouraging us all to don an apron and get into the kitchen.
Yes, there was the predictable innuendo and “pop your cherry” comments that was to be expected from the mix of a man who has become a housewives’ pin up and an audience predominantly full of ladies. But luckily for us guys, Paul deftly handled the attention and didn't let it distract him from the job at hand.
As one of the few males in attendance, I surprised myself in gleaning a few new tricks. Paul’s tips on how to succeed at home offered lots of handy hints on ensuring the best bakes, from cleaning the oven to which ingredients to choose and why.
Paul has a knack of making complicated techniques such as bread plaits look easy, while jokingly pointing out that us mere mortals make the simple things more difficult for ourselves. What a shame my girlfriend was sitting next to me and hearing the secrets too!
Camping up his banter and his infectious laugh readily responsive, Paul was receptive to the audience's questions and his advice clear and easy to understand - and entertaining with it. The audience challenge even saw Paul’s game show host credentials come to the fore. I could easily see him stepping into Bruce’s old shoes on a show like The Generation Game. His commentary and banter with the participants made for great watching. You have got to admire him for the way he wins over the crowd.
In amongst the laughs and copious amounts of cream on display (which drew audible gasps from the audience), there was a serious message running through the show. Baking is a family affair. Whether father and son or mother and daughter, baking is something to be enjoyed and not to be taken too seriously.
And as Paul would say, “that’s not difficult, is it?”
For further dates and tickets, visit Paulhollywood.com