Reacting to their appointment for the first time during an appearance on Monday’s (20 March) ‘Loose Women’, Paul insisted he was “really, really excited” about his new colleagues.
Speaking about Prue in particular, he said: “Prue, obviously she’s got this huge professional background, working in London for years. I’ve got nothing but respect for Prue.
“We’ve actually met and had a chat, there’s something there. In fact, she reminds me so much of my mother-in-law, in a fantastic way. I think we’re going to get on like a house on fire.”
Revealing he had no idea Sandi and Noel had signed up to the show, he continued: “Obviously it’s a big thing for the country, the Bake Off. When I heard the names read out, I was the same as everybody else, I was really excited.”
He continued: “We’re about to [meet up]. It’s got to be kept so quiet. It’s going to be on the moon somewhere!”
Asked on how he felt about Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry quitting the show and staying loyal to the BBC instead of making the jump to Channel 4, he said: “They were loyal in their own little arenas of what they wanted to do. I was in a different stage of my career. And it’s my job and I love doing the ‘Bake Off’.
“When it moved channels, I’m with the production company, I don’t work for a channel, I work for a production company and my job was always there and for me, I didn’t want to lose it. They gave me a shot seven years ago and I grasped it with both hands, why would I want to let it go?”
Of his discussion with Mary about his decision to stay with the show, Paul added: “We did talk during it and I’ve said before, Mary said ‘If I was in your shoes I would have done exactly the same thing’. I’m at a different stage to Mary. I just couldn’t let go of that job because they’re just great people.”
‘The Great British Bake Off’ is expected to launch on Channel 4 in the autumn.
‘Loose Women’ airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.