Prue Leith likes the "attention" the 'Great British Bake Off' has brought her.

Prue Leith

Prue Leith

The 78-year-old restaurateur joined the baking show as a judge alongside Paul Hollywood in March 2017 after Channel 4 swiped the rights to the format from the BBC and she has admitted she loves that teenagers recognise her in the street.

Speaking to Good Housekeeping magazine, Prue - who branded herself "egotistic" - said: "I like the attention. Before '...Bake Off', frankly, if you'd asked most people on the bus if they'd ever heard of me, it would probably only have been those aged over 55. But if they were 15, they wouldn't have, and that's the difference with '...Bake Off' - it's loved across the generations."

And, although she previously hosted 'Great British Menu' on BBC Two, Prue has a new taste for baking since joining the Channel 4 series and that has inspired her to pen her first cookbook in 25 years 'Prue: My All Time Favourite Recipes'.

She explained: "When I got on to the '...Bake Off', every weekend I'd see the bakers doing this amazing stuff. It really got me back into food and I found that I was baking more. I baked more in the first year than I had in 25 years. You get lazy. It was telly that got me back into it. When I replaced Mary Berry, I had people in supermarkets asking me when my next cookbook was coming out, and they hadn't realised that I hadn't been writing recipes for 25 years. And I suddenly thought: 'This is probably the time to write a new cookbook.' "

But it's not just her professional life that has taken off over the past few years as Prue feels "really lucky" to be married to her husband John Playfair.

The chef - who married John in 2016 - explained: "I've been with John now for seven years, it took us five years to decide to do it. It just seemed like, 'We're so old, what's the point really?' Anyhow, we did it. It's been absolutely wonderful. That made me really happy because I'd been single for 14 years - I thought that was it. At my age, you don't expect to fall in love again, so I've been really lucky."