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Bake Off's Paul Hollywood was head baker at Chester Grosvenor

Paul, his father John and brother Lee have all worked at the city's top hotel

Bake Off judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry Picture: Mark Bourdillon/PA Wire

The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens this evening (Wednesday, August 24) but did you know the show’s celebrity baker and judge Paul Hollywood began his career at The Chester Grosvenor hotel?

Paul, from Wallasey, works alongside legendary baker Mary Berry to assess the contestants on the smash on BBC1 hit series presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Great British Bake Off returns to our screens

But it’s a little known fact that Paul honed his skills as head baker at the city’s upper crust Grosvenor hotel which was also where his fledgling TV career began.

His father John and brother Lee have also worked at the five star hotel in the past.

Mary Berry, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc and Paul Hollywood

Paul, whose grandfather was head baker at The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, has previously spoken about working at The Grosvenor as a young baker when Granada Reports shot a piece with him about baking bread.

“They interviewed me for about six hours, and I remember thinking as I walked out of the hotel to go home, ‘I’ve made it’. Then on telly that night it was about 30 seconds long,” he recalled.

At first he made the morning bakes, the croissants and pastries, before moving onto the cakes and the afternoon teas.

“I loved it there. I still go back there when I’m in town and have their afternoon tea. They’re good at doing the little touches so it feels like a real treat.”

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When Paul appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show he trotted out his CV, demonstrating his role as TV expert is backed up by hard-earned graft in the finest establishments.

He told Jonathan: “Fame, I have had to learn it very quickly because of what I do. When I was very young I was in my father’s bakery, then I ended up working at Cliveden, The Dorchester, I worked at The Chester Grosvenor and professionally I worked at some of the best hotels. I worked in Cyprus for six years and when I came back Bake-Off found me.”

Paul Hollywood at last year's CarFest North

The Great British Bake Off returns to BBC1 at 9pm this evening (Wednesday).

And this series is tipped to set a new record for the most-watched programme of the year so far.

Last year’s final was the most-watched show of 2015, with a whopping 15.1 million people seeing Nadiya Hussain crowned Bake Off champion.

This year’s contestants include a nurse, a pastor, a PE teacher and an aerospace engineer.

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