Before his time as TV's best loved baker, Paul Hollywood studied sculpting at art school.

The Great British Bake Off host is best known for his love of bread, steely blue eyes and his handshakes of approval, but Paul grew up dreaming of working with clay, not bread.

The 55 year old's ambition at the time was to become an artist and he began studying sculpture at Wallasey School of Art, until his father bribed him to quit to become a baker instead.

During his time on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Paul revealed that his first calling had always been art.

"I was in art school and had long hair and velvet jackets and I quite enjoyed art, sculpture and all that stuff, and I ended up doing an O-level in sculpture and I thought I could really take this further,” the star shared.

Yet his father, who was also a professional baker, encouraged him to give it all up and bribed him with £500 to quit the next day and work for him.

Paul recounted: "My dad approached me and said, 'Son, come and join the industry,' and he said, 'I'll give you five hundred quid.'"

“And in the Eighties that was a lot of money, so I went from hair down to my chest to shaved literally overnight.”

Paul also shared a snap from his former art school days on Instagram. In the caption, he wrote: "Holding my cat… art school days circa 1982/3..!!! x"

After leaving art school and his luscious brown long locks behind, Paul went to work for his father, John F. Hollywood at his bakery, Breadwinner.

Paul worked in his father's flagship store in York, before the business expanded to Middlesbrough, Lincoln and Hartlepool, and Aberdeen.

After his early years baking alongside his dad, Paul went on to become head baker at some of the most renowned hotels in the country including The Dorchester in London.

He even worked in resorts in Cyprus and ended up staying for six years after falling in love with the islands and his now ex-wife, Alexandra.

Yet, it was the launch of Great British Bake Off on BBC 1 in 2010 that turned Paul into a household name as he co-hosted the show with Mary Berry.

Despite his suave appearance on the iconic show, the star said it’s taken him “years” to get used to being famous.

After all, he went from working in kitchens behind the scenes to becoming one of the most well known bakers for his time co-hosting the hit BBC and now Channel 4 competition.

It's clear that baking runs in the family.

Paul’s grandfather was also a baker and boasted the title of head baker at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool. While, Paul’s brother, Lee is also in the baking business.

In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2016, Lee told the outlet: “It’s in our blood. My father was a baker, my uncle was a baker, we spent every weekend with our dad in one bakery shop or another. I started helping him in his shops.”

The celeb chef’s interest in artistry hasn’t left him, as he frequently critiques the delicate designs bakers have created on The Great British Bake Off.

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