(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/TIM FIELD)
Photos of a judge from the wildly popular British TV show the Great British Bake Off dressed as a Nazi have created a firestorm of controversy in the UK.
On Sunday, British tabloid The Sun published photos of Paul Hollywood, the baker and TV personality, wearing a full Nazi dress uniform complete with a red swastika armband at a pub in Kent.
Hollywood immediately took to Twitter to explain and apologize for the photo he said was taken in 2003.
"I am absolutely devastated if this caused offense to anyone," Hollywood posted on Twitter. "The picture was taken 14 years ago on our way 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
The show, which ran on BBC in the 1980s, was set in a small cafe in France while under Nazi rule during World War II.
"Everyone who knows me," Hollywood continued, "knows I am incredibly proud of the efforts of those, including my own grandfather, who fought against Nazis during the war."
splashed the photo across its front cover on Sunday, under the banner "Exclusive: Swastika Shock" and with the headline "Bake Off Paul Nazi Shame."
was also the tabloid which revealed photos of Prince Harry in 2005 wearing a swastika armband as part of a costume.
British comedian Ricky Gervais came to Hollywood's defense later in the day - after first poking fun at him.
"On a serious note, there are real [N]azis in the world today wishing people harm," Gervais tweeted. "Some poor old scouse baker in fancy dress isn’t a big threat."
The 8th season of the Great British Bake Off
just began airing at the end of August. The show is consistently one of the most popular in the UK, and has won several BAFTA awards.
Hollywood was in Israel in February to film an episode of his show City Bakes
, which airs on Food Network UK. The episode, titled Jerusalem, featured baking traditions from all three of the region's religions, and aired in May.