Celebrity chef and famously stony-faced The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has been told by the show's producers that he can continue giving contestants his iconic handshake on the upcoming series of the Channel 4 show.
The baking show, which recently resumed filming of its 11th series, has said that it is determined to keep the format as similar as possible to normal despite fears about the coronavirus pandemic. However, the program has also confirmed that everyone involved in the filming of the upcoming series is part of an isolation bubble, as well as being subject to regular testing to ensure everyone's safety.
Hollywood's signature congratulatory handshake has, over the years, become a classic part of the show, having made its first appearance back in series three. So, it's clear why the producers were not keen to axe the move this year.
A source from the show told The Sun: "In these strange times, producers want the 2020 series to be as close to normal as possible and they feel that it wouldn't be the same without a Hollywood handshake."
"The judges and hosts and the contestants have all been deemed clear because of the bio-secure bubble and regular testing.
"So if the baking is up to scratch, we’ll see some handshakes, and not elbow bumps, being dished out before long."
However, this hasn't stopped some fans voicing their concern about the decision, with one writing: "We're all social distancing whether it's 1m or 2m and therefore shouldn't be shaking anyone's hand. In my opinion, this sends out the wrong message to viewers!"
This comes as the filming schedules for a number of TV shows have been completely ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many still unable to safely resume filming.
Series 11 of The Great British Bake Off is set to air later this year on Channel 4 and will be the first series to feature comedian Matt Lucas as one of the hosts.
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