Prue Leith is reportedly expected to earn three times more than Mary Berry if she takes over as a judge on the 'Great British Bake Off'.

Prue Leith

Prue Leith

The 77-year-old restaurateur was first approached about taking over the role earlier this year, and is now believed to have been offered £200,000 to appear on the Channel 4 series, completely dwarfing the £70,000 offered to 81-year-old Mary when the programme was still with rival broadcaster BBC.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Prue is a cooking legend and has a lot of respect in the food world. The BBC were really under-paying both Mary and Paul during their time on the show.

"'Bake Off' had a relatively low budget which didn't increase even as its popularity went through the roof. That meant the stars were left on very low salaries in relation to the show's huge success. Prue will be on a lot of money but it's not an unexpected amount for one of the main faces on a show as big as 'Bake Off' to be earning."

Meanwhile, Channel 4 bosses are also tasked with finding replacements for previous hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and say all will be revealed "in due course".

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "We will announce the line-up for the next series of The 'Great British Bake Off' in due course."

The 'Great British Bake Off' hit the headlines in September last year when it was announced that Love Productions - the makers of the series - had chosen to accept a three-year deal from Channel 4 after negotiations between them and the BBC broke down because they weren't willing to offer a large enough sum.

Within hours of the news breaking, Mel and Sue - who have fronted the programme since it first hit screens six years ago - revealed they had quit their roles as hosts in order to explore other ventures.

A few days later, Mary decided she too would step down as a judge on the show out of "loyalty" to the BBC, while her co-judge Paul Hollywood, 50, caused a storm when he accepted Channel 4's offer to remain with the series.