BBC presenters like The Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood must “manage” their private lives, according to one of the corporation’s senior executives.
The baker-turned-presenter recently hit the headlines when he left Alexandra, 49, his wife of 15 years, amid an attempt to launch his career in the US and reports of a relationship with his new co-star Marcela Valladolid, 35.
Asked about Hollywood, BBC Two boss Janice Hadlow told an audience at the Edinburgh television festival that presenters had to “be aware” that their actions “will be subject to some scrutiny”.
She said: “He knows himself, he’s been open about it, if you are in the public eye your actions will get attention and it’s just about being aware of that.”
She added: “I think our presenters know that they are always presenters.
“Even in their private life they will always be seen as the BBC presenter. In the end what goes on in their private life is not necessarily something we can manage and they have to manage it themselves”.
Speaking earlier this month, Hollywood admitted he was “upset and sad” about the collapse of his marriage – and said he might have been happier if he had not become famous.
Hollywood, who returned to the small screen with Mary Berry for a fourth series of Bake Off this week, told the Radio Times he was tempted to “disappear and hide”.
The 47-year-old, who has an 11-year-old son with Alexandra, said: “I’m upset and sad about the whole separation. I’ve been totally honest with those in the know.
“Everyone else? That’s their problem. I don’t care.”
He told the magazine: “I thought I’d spend my life making baguettes, muffins, croissants. I might have been happier if I had. One day I’ll disappear and hide in a corner of Britain.
“I’ll own a bakery in a village, live above it, have a big garden because I like mowing. I want to get up when I feel like it, let people queue for my products and when they’re gone, shut the shop and think about tomorrow. Creating magic – that’s my dream. And I’ll do it.”