Prue Leith explains why she will not return for new celebrity Bake Off shows

Dame Prue Leith has confirmed why she will not be filming another series of the celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off.

The cookery writer, broadcaster and restaurateur has been a judge since 2017 when she replaced Dame Mary Berry as the baking competition moved from the BBC to Channel 4.

When asked if the rumours were true and she would take a step back from the series, Dame Prue told ITV’s This Morning: “It’s actually not true at all.

The Great Festive Bake Off
Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood on the set of The Great Festive Bake Off (Channel 4/PA)

“What I’m not doing this year is the celebrity one and it’s mainly because these things are filmed back-to-back the whole way through the summer.

“So you start in April, and you end in August and honestly, you get no time off.

“And so, I’m getting a bit old and there are places I want to go to and other things I want to do.”

She added that she “won’t be back” after the latest instalment of The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer, which will be aired later this year.

The latest series, hosted by This Morning star Alison Hammond and comedian Noel Fielding, sees EastEnders star Danny Dyer, former Doctor Who actress Jodie Whittaker, Spice Girl Mel B and This Morning star Dermot O’Leary among the competitors.

Avast’s Accept All Cookies campaign
The South African-born cook has written a dozen books and founded Leith’s School of Food and Wine in the 1970s (David Parry/PA)

“She can’t be directed, she just does what she’s going to do,” she added.

Her time on the Channel 4 series first brought comparisons with Dame Mary from fans before the 84-year-old came into her own and became known for her banter with co-star Paul Hollywood.

Dame Prue’s judging has not been without some minor bumps along the way, and her first final saw her accidentally reveal the show’s winner as former Army officer Sophie Faldo while in a different time zone.

She put out the name of the winning amateur baker on Twitter, while in Bhutan, which is six hours ahead of the UK.

Prior to The Great British Bake Off, Dame Prue was a judge on BBC cookery show The Great British Menu for 11 years, before stepping down in 2016.

The South African-born cook has written a dozen books, most famously Leith’s Cookery Bible, which was penned as a textbook for her school and is frequently updated.

Leith’s School of Food and Wine, which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks, was founded in the 1970s.

Famous alumni include Lorraine Pascale, Gizzi Erskine and Matt Tebbutt, as well as Michelin-star chefs including Joe Mercer Nairne and Matt Christmas.

She kicked of her career by training at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London and worked as a caterer before opening her restaurant in west London in 1969.

Outside of cooking, Dame Prue has long campaigned for a change in the law around assisted dying.

She said her elder brother David suffered a “really horrible death” from bone cancer more than a decade ago, and Dame Prue has also revealed that her late husband Rayne Kruger asked doctors if he could have “a bit of assistance” with dying.

The patron of Dignity in Dying made a documentary about assisted dying with her son, Tory MP for Devizes Danny Kruger, in 2023.

Prue And Danny’s Death Road Trip saw them exploring the issue while listening to each other’s views from different sides of the debate.

She was married to South African author Kruger for almost 30 years before the author’s death from emphysema aged 80 in 2002.

In 2016, she married retired fashion designer John Playfair – who is part of her ITV series Prue Leith’s Cotswold Kitchen.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –