Prue Leith has admitted that she had to think long and hard before accepting the job on the revamped version of The Great British Bake Off, which will air for the first time this year on Channel 4 after a network move.
Replacing former judge Mary Berry and starring alongside Paul Hollywood on the series – which will for the first time be hosted by Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig – Leith opened up about the process she went through before signing on the dotted line.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, she explained: “I really thought twice about accepting Bake Off. I’ve spent my life campaigning about children learning to cook and healthy meals in schools, but I reasoned that baking is the best way to get people into general cooking. And that’s what we need the nation to do: get interested in the kitchen.”
She also revealed that security was sent to her house when it was announced she would replace Mary Berry on the show.
Leith added: “On the day that they announced who the line-up was, they wanted to send a close protection officer. I said, ‘Don’t be ridiculous, we absolutely do not need a cooper standing there looking’.
“But they said, ‘No, no, no, we really must just to be on the safe side’. What did they think is going to happen? I’m not going to be trolled. This is a nice family show.”
Whether or not fans will warm to the big changes remains to be seen, but what we do know is that The Great British Bake Off makes its return later this year on Channel 4.