'Great British Bake Off': Even COVID can't stop the Hollywood handshake

Ep2.  Lottie with Paul, Prue and Matt.
Ep2. Lottie with Paul, Prue and Matt.

Constant handwashing, elbow bumps, keeping two metres apart – life has been a little different for us all in 2020.

But in tonight’s Great British Bake Off tent there was a tiny slice of normality, as even COVID-19 restrictions couldn’t put a stop to the famous ‘Hollywood handshake’.

Each year, bakers compete to win a Hollywood handshake from the notoriously tough-to-please judge Paul Hollywood.

It’s reserved for the most impressive creations, and the first of series 11 came in a week two task despite handshakes being a faux-pas in every other situation this year.

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And just to make the whole thing even more peak 2020, the lucky baker was Lottie who had made perfect ‘quarantine florentines’ in the first challenge of biscuit week.

Even the recent squeamishness over touching hands couldn’t take the shine off things for Lottie, who declared she had no intention of washing for 20 seconds, either.

She said: “Completely mad...I’m never going to wash my hand again.”

Many have swapped their usual handshake for an elbow bump over the previous months, but not Hollywood.

He told Lottie: “The ginger and the cherry with the dark chocolate is just fantastic... I can’t find a fault with them, really.”

Viewers’ minds were blown by the simple handshake, so long was it since they’d seen one in real life.

This year, contestants, stars and production crew had to isolate together in a bubble for the Channel 4 series to be able to go ahead.

Read more: Bake Off return delayed by Boris Johnson’s COVID address

It was postponed, airing around a month later than the usual start date, but has been a huge hit with fans happy to see a TV favourite back on screens despite many shows having halted production.

The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.