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Paul Hollywood judges bake off at Chequers Inn, Smarden

Celebrity baker Paul Hollywood cast a critical eye over cakes with soggy bottoms at a village bake-off.

He drew a big crowd at the Chequers Inn, Smarden, where the search for a star baker was on.

Paul Hollywood at a charity cake baking contest in The Chequers Inn
Paul Hollywood at a charity cake baking contest in The Chequers Inn

People crammed into the cosy hostelry for the charity do, organised by landlord Melissa Spalding, 36, who has been romantically-linked to the Great British Bake Off Judge after his highly publicised split with ex-love Summer Monteys-Fullam, for whom he left his wife Alex.

Posting on Facebook earlier this month Melissa wrote: Who will be our Smarden star baker?

"Paul Hollywood will be judging your delicious cakes in a winner-takes-all competition.

"All money raised will be donated to The Smarden Parish council in order to keep our village beautiful.

"Anyone wishing to come along but not take part in the baking are also welcome as after the winner is named, the cakes will be sold off to raise further money for the parish."

Paul Hollywood at a charity cake baking contest in The Chequers Inn, Smarden
Paul Hollywood at a charity cake baking contest in The Chequers Inn, Smarden

An onlooker, who watched the contest through the pub's windows due to the crowds, said: "It was absolutely rammed, I could hardly see Paul at all."

Bakes on show included an elaborate feather-topped creation and a three-tiered sponge but it's not know whether any of them earned the famous 'Hollywood handshake', which is only awarded for baking masterpieces.

Paul was also spotted dining out at Montalbano restaurant in Tenterden this month.

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