Paul Hollywood Is Stirring Up Beef Between Prue Leith And Mary Berry

Paul Hollywood is having a bit of fun while stoking tension between his co-judge Dame Prue Leith and her predecessor Mary Berry.

We do not know if there is a standing rivalry between Berry and Leith, but we expect Hollywood to know, as he is the one constant in the "Great British Bake Off" dynamic environment of changing work colleagues and TV networks. Hollywood worked with Berry for seven seasons before she defected from the show, or the show defected from the BBC with Berry choosing to stay behind, depending on how you look at it (per My London).

After the TV Series migration from the BBC to Channel 4, Hollywood found himself sharing judging duties with the South African-born Leith, whom up to that point, although accomplished, was not very well known, as noted on Grazia Daily. The duo (Leith and Hollywood) have presided over the show for five, going on six seasons together, making it one season shy of the length of his tenure with Berry (per Radio Times).

A controversial Victoria sandwich started the drama

The controversy started over the very British Victoria Cake, which is not a sponge, according to Paul Hollywood (via the Daily Star), but rather a sandwich because of its two spongy cake slices and the cream and jelly between them.

While Hollywood concerned himself with nomenclature, Prue Leith ruminated on two methods. The first was creaming the butter with sugar before mixing in all the other ingredients and the second, mixing all the ingredients at the same time. Hollywood promoted the creaming method publicly, stating that he mixed everything together when baking at home. At this, Leith felt that Hollywood was trying to claim the all-in-one method she felt belonged to her predecessor (Mary Berry). "I always think the all-in-one method is Mary Berry's method," she told the Radio Times (via The Sun). She went on to say, "it's a little heavier, a little more solid."

The terms "heavy" and "solid" may be an innocent description, but in baking circles and in the context of sponge cake, it has connotations. Hollywood picked up on this and did not miss his chance to chant "Mary hates Prue! Mary hates Prue!" This was rewarded with a cutting salvo for his opportunism. "I'll tell you what, Paul Hollywood," quipped Leith, "I probably lift up Mary Berry's cake book a little more than I do yours. I use you for bread and Mary for cakes," (per Daily Star).