The Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood has apologised after a Sunday newspaper published pictures of him apparently dressed as a Nazi soldier.
The pictures, obtained and published by The Sun, shows the celebrity baker wearing a Nazi uniform complete with a swastika armband.
In a tweeted statement, Hollywood said that the photographs were taken at a fancy dress party he attended at a Kent pub in 2003.
"I am absolutely devastated if this caused offence to anyone," Hollywood wrote. "The picture was taken 14 years ago en route to a comedy TV shows themed New Year’s Eve party and a group of us dressed up as characters from the classic TV show ‘Allo ‘Allo! Everyone who knows me knows I am incredibly proud of the efforts of those, including my own grandfather, who fought against the Nazis during the war."
On Twitter today, Hollywood's costume has been widely condemned as misguided, offensive and insulting.
A spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism told The Guardian: "Wearing these costumes for fun is an insult to the British soldiers and civilians who died repelling Hitler’s onslaught and the 6 million Jews and many others who were murdered. However we appreciate Paul Hollywood’s immediate apology and note that this happened 14 years ago. We do not expect any further action."
The Great British Bake Off returned last week for its first series on Channel 4. Hollywood is now joined by new judge Prue Leith, who replaces Mary Berry, and presenting duo Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, who take over from Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
The series has started very promisingly for the channel, with episode one watched by a total of 9.5 million viewers in the seven-day period after it aired. This represents Channel 4's best ratings since the mid-'80s.