Bake Off 2023 stars Noel Fielding, Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood

The scandal-hit private lives of Bake Off’s biggest stars – Drug troubles, drowning kittens and ‘dating’ a 16 year old

A few scandals over the years!

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Bake Off star Prue Leith has previously opened up about a “traumatic” experience which sparked backlash. But which other of the show’s stars have had controversy in the past?

Noel Fielding and Alison Hammond are usually on hand to host while Prue and Paul Hollywood judge. The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer airs on June 9, featuring the likes of Emma Willis and Clara Amfo.

But have you ever wondered about the private lives of the show’s stars? Some are full of scandal…

Bake Off host Noel Fielding smiling outside studios
Noel Fielding has had his share of controversies over the years (Credit:

Bake Off: Noel Fielding

Noel has had his fair share of scandals in the past from drug troubles to rumours surrounding Pixie Geldof.

According to The Sun, on taking drugs in the past, Noel reportedly said in 2009: “I took too many drugs and was hanging out with the wrong people. MDMA is too strong for me. I took pills on the rave scene and didn’t like them at all. It was like my birthday every day. All these people saying, ‘Do you want drugs?’

“You don’t really notice but gradually you end up out until 4am instead of 2am and then it would become 6am and 7am. Coke is always available if you want it.”

He stopped taking drugs in 2006, saying he feared he wouldn’t “come back from this”.

Meanwhile, in 2007, Noel hit headlines when he was allegedly spotted kissing Pixie Geldof in a club when she was 16 and he was 33.

According to The Sun, Noel said around that time: “There’s a chemistry between us and we liked each other but she’s so much younger. When I first met her I had no idea who she was and that she was so young. It caused a lot of problems because her dad wanted to kill me obviously.”

However, Noel denied that he and Pixie ever dated.

Bake Off star Prue Leith smiling at event
Bake Off star Prue Leith faced backlash after admitting a kitten incident (Credit:

Bake Off star Prue Leith kitten controversy

Another of the Bake Off stars who has had controversy surrounding her is Prue.

In her 2022 book, I’ll Try Anything Once, Prue recalled a time when her mother made her drown a litter of kittens while growing up on their farm in South Africa.

Prue said of the incident: “My mother and I, then 11, had just drowned some kittens… and for weeks I imagined those poor dead creatures. Too many kittens was a frequent occurrence and there had come a day when my mother, unable to find homes for yet another litter, decided to drown the latest batch.”

Prue said her “protests were met with a firm, ‘Darling, it has to be done. They are only a few hours old. They will hardly know it’s happening'”. She added: “I held the bag under the water until the last kitten had stopped mewing.”

Speaking about the backlash she received following the revelation, Prue said she became “public enemy number one”. She told People: “It was so awful because people were saying things like, ‘I’ll never watch Bake Off again.’

“I don’t know how it happened, but one day my mother said, ‘We have to drown these little kittens.’ And I guess perhaps she thought it would be a life lesson for me. It was the most traumatic, awful, horrible experience.”

Paul Hollywood looks serious on Loose Women
Paul has had a somewhat controversial love life (Credit: ITV)

Paul Hollywood’s love life

Bake Off judge Paul has also had his share of some controversy surrounding his love life. Paul married his partner Melissa Spalding in Cyprus in September.

Paul was previously married to Alex Hollywood. They split in 2013 after he was accused of having an affair with his American Baking Competition co-star, Marcela Valladolid. At the time, Paul called it “the biggest mistake of my life”.

Paul and Alex reconciled before divorcing in 2017. Following their second split, Alex accused Paul of multiple infidelities during their 20-year marriage.

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer airs on June 9 from 7pm on Channel 4. 

Read more: Bake Off host Alison Hammond’s love life – engagements; feeling like a ‘failure’ after split from son’s dad; ‘struggle’ in relationships

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Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)