Prue Leith has addressed rumours that she is set to join the new series of Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4. The 77-year-old, who is tipped to replace Mary Berry on the baking show, admitted she would "love" to be given the opportunity, but did have some reservations about the job.
Speaking to the Press Association, Prue said: "Of course I (want it). There's not a cook in the country who doesn't want to do that job. It'd be lovely." However she admitted she was worried about following in Mary's footsteps in case she failed to win over viewers, comparing the situation to when Chris Evans replaced Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May on Top Gear. "It's a bit scary following Mary, but I don't want to do a Chris Evans," she said.
Prue Leith admitted she would love to work on Great British Bake Off
Prue also denied speculation that she has been offered a salary up to three times more than what Mary received. "I believe I'm about to be paid about a quarter of a million pounds or something and I've got a deal. It's complete nonsense," she said. "I have not signed any contract. I've not got the job yet. I hope to have it - I have no idea if I will."
If she does land the coveted role, Prue will be working with Paul Hollywood, who made the decision to stay on the show after his colleagues Mel Giederoyc and Sue Perkins opted out. And the chef defended Paul's decision to stay with the show following its move from the BBC. "I think Paul was quite perfectly within his rights to stay with Love Productions," Prue said. "They'd made him famous, he was getting a decent salary and he was enjoying it. Why shouldn't he stay with them?"
Mary Berry left her role on the show in September 2016
Mary confirmed that she wouldn't be appearing as a judge in the next series of Bake Off in a statement last September, saying: "It has been a privilege and honour to be part of seven years of magic in a tent… My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision."