Paul Hollywood's estranged wife reveals why she's keeping her name after divorce

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
The soon-to-be ex-wife of Paul Hollywood won't be changing her name after divorce. [Photo: Getty]

Alex Hollywood, the soon-to-be ex-wife of Paul Hollywood, has announced she will be keeping her surname the same after her divorce.

The 54-year-old chef and family food writer married ‘Bake Off’ star Paul in 1998, and the pair have one teenage son, Josh. They announced the end of their two-decade-strong marriage in November 2017. "It is with sadness that we have decided to separate,” read a joint statement from the couple.

Yet, with the couple’s divorce proceedings soon to be finalised, Alex has revealed that she will not be changing her name, during an interview on today’s ‘Loose Women’ show.

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“I’ve been Hollywood for, gosh, probably nearly 20 years. You kind of grow into that name. More importantly, I’m getting divorced, but I’m not divorcing my son, he’s a Hollywood. I’m his mum, I’m not going to get rid of his name,” she said.

“I am Alex Hollywood, I write as Alex Hollywood and I am Josh Hollywood’s mum. That’s the person I am now, that’s the person I’ve grown into and that’s the person I’m going to stay.” 

She added: “People can say what they want. I know what’s right for me and I know what’s right for my son.” 

It’s a personal choice, and other female celebrities have opted to change their names back after divorcing their husbands, such as Angelina Jolie (known as Angelina Jolie-Pitt during her marriage to Brad Pitt) and Jenna Dewan (Jenna Dewan Tatum during her marriage to Channing Tatum).

The role of women has changed considerably in recent decades – yet the traditional practice of a woman taking their husband’s name after marriage remains as popular as ever among the younger generation, according to a YouGov survey.

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The results found 59% of women would prefer to take their spouse’s surname upon marriage, and 61% of men would like their spouse to take theirs. This was just as true for the younger generations compared to the older ones, the survey found.

Other preferred options included spouses keeping their original surnames (14% of women and 12% of men) and combining surnames (12% of women and 5% of men).

The least popular option was for a man to take his wife’s surname, with some 2% of women and 1% of men saying this was their preference.

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