Celebrity chef Paul Hollywood says he’s “devastated” after The Sun published photos of him dressed as a Nazi character from a British TV series.
Hollywood, who stars on “The Great British Bake Off” on Channel 4, had reportedly worn the costume to a New Year’s Eve costume party he attended with his wife and friends. According to the baker, he and his pals were merely dressed as characters from a “'Allo 'Allo!” a British sitcom set in German-occupied France, which aired between 1982 and 1992.
“I’m absolutely devastated if this caused offense to anyone — the picture was taken 14 years ago on our way to a Comedy TV Shows Themed New Year’s Eve party,” he wrote in a statement posted to his social media accounts.
In the photos, Hollywood can be seen at a pub, wearing a German officer’s uniform complete with an iron cross, a Nazi eagle emblem and a red arm band emblazoned with a swastika. Another photo shows a friend in a similar uniform, along with two women in berets.
In his statement, Hollywood also said he was proud to be the grandson of WWII veteran Norman Harmon, who served as an anti-aircraft gunner with the Royal Artillery vision of the British Army. According to The Sun, Hollywood had learned of his grandfather’s experiences during a 2015 episode of the BBC series “Who Do You Think You Are?”
“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,” Hollywood stated.
Meanwhile, a source for The Sun said Hollywood “should have known better” for that exact reason.
“At worst it was extremely offensive. At the very least it was stupid,” said the source.
Hollywood has been a judge and host on “The Great British Bake Off” since it first aired in 2010. He was also the show’s only judge to re-sign with the series after it moved from the BBC to Channel 4 for its latest season.
A representative for Hollywood was not immediately available to comment.