Prue Leith wore an apron in tribute to Mary Berry on the 'Great British Bake Off' final last year.

Prue Leith

Prue Leith

The 78-year-old chef thought it would be "hilarious" to don a protective garment which featured the slogan 'What Would Mary Do?' in honour of her friend - who she replaced as a judge on the show last year when it moved to BBC One from Channel 4 - but producers weren't very impressed and made her take it off.

She said: "On the day of the finals, I decided to wear an apron that said, 'What would Mary do?' I thought it would be hilarious.

"No one noticed till they started filming and then I was told to take it off... Obviously it wouldn't have been appropriate."

Despite leaving the programme, Mary is still a fan and has been on hand to offer Prue support and advice if she's needed it.

Prue told the Mail on Sunday newspaper's Event magazine: "We've known each other for 40 or 50 years. She's a great friend. She called me to tell me she was glad I was doing the show and that I'd done a great job, which was lovely of her."

Prue is also thankful for the support of co-judge Paul Hollywood, 52, who is a "grandfather" to her and presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig as his years of working on the show have helped guide them all through filming.

She said: "[Paul has] become a good mate. He's like the grandfather to all of us on the show because - bar him - we are all newbies.

"He'll tell me where to stand and remind me what's coming next. I'm constantly saying the wrong names for the challenges and Paul will keep me on track."

And the author admitted she was clueless when she joined the show because she'd only ever seen one episode.

She confessed: "I never actually watched it before... I mean, I did see the episode when Nadiya [Hussein] won and thought that was very sweet. But I don't actually watch much telly, which is why I didn't quite get what a big deal it was and how much it was going to change my life."