Paul Hollywood’s lifestyle (Paul’s Hollywood lifestyle works just as well) has plunged not only his future on The Great British Bake off, but Mary Berry’s too, as the baking stalwart considers a future without her Liverpool-born buddy.

Asked if Hollywood’s private life was causing concern among show bosses, a source said: “That is an understatement – it’s a complete nightmare. Needless to say the public reaction hasn’t been good. Bake Off is such a wholesome show it really doesn’t help us. The team is split about 60-40 saying that he should stay, although it’s all dependent on public opinion.” Even worse for the bosses would be the exit of Mary Berry. The fan’s favourite is particularly popular amongst the 40+ demographic – a large chuck of the Bake Off’s audience. “Mary is the show and we know she has lots of high-level offers, and at the moment she is protecting him. If we sack Paul, Mary could walk and then we don’t have a show. Right now Mary is his saviour.”

Hollywood has opened up about his inexplicable status as a sex symbol. He said in a recent interview: "My wife finds it hilarious - I get marriage proposals, maybe one a week." The Great British Bake Off has been a huge hit for the BBC. Not only did it garner huge audiences, but it actually managed to boost sales of baking equipment by a huge 600% in its pomp.

Paul Hollywood and Mary BerryMary and Paul at the NTA's