Paul Hollywood given go ahead to award his famous handshakes on Bake Off despite Covid-19 fears

PAUL Hollywood is free to use his trademark handshake on The Great British Bake Off.

The master baker’s signature move was under threat owing to social distancing rules.

But producers of the Channel 4 show have told Paul, 54, he can press the flesh as cast and crew have been in an isolation bubble and are having regular Covid-19 testing.

A show source said: “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.”

Paul’s handshakes for bakers who have met his lofty standards have become a fixture on the former BBC show.

He gave his first in series three and in series eight — the 2017 relaunch on Channel 4 — he handed out seven in one run.

Judge Prue Leith is also clear to take part despite being considered vulnerable because she is 80.

There was more worry when filming began last month with Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, 46, who replaced host Sandi Toksvig, 62. He was sick after eating too many cakes.

Matt will also be joined by returning co-presenter Noel Fielding, 47.

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