The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood and his wife Alex are separating after nearly 20 years of marriage. 

Alex, who is a chef, and her husband said in a joint statement on Monday: "It is with sadness that we have decided to separate. Our focus continues to be the happiness of our son . . . we ask the press and public to allow us privacy during this very difficult time."

The couple previously separated in 2013 when the TV baker admitted to having an affair with Marcela Valladolid, who was his co-star on the US version of Bake Off.

Hollywood with the new Channel 4 Bake Off line-up of Prue Leigh, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig

He said the incident was "the biggest mistake of my life" in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live and he and his wife reunited a few months later.

At the time, Hollywood said he "was shocked about the whole thing kicking off the way it did . . . but I deserved it and I've taken it", adding: "It was my punishment."

The baker, who worked in hotels before finding fame and launching his own bread firm and recipe books. will return as a judge for the second series of Channel 4's The Great British Bake Off next year.