Television cook Prue Leith is set to replace Mary Berry as a judge on The Great British Bake Off, according to reports.

They added to The Sun: "Following in Mary's footsteps is a big challenge".

The businesswoman is also a familiar face on TV, having starred as a judge on BBC show The Great British Menu. She told inews: "The life experience and knowledge older women bring to TV goes down well with viewers".

Will she win the hearts of millions as Mary Berry did?

Prue Leith will join Paul Hollywood when the Bake Off starts on Channel 4.

Her role co-presenting My Kitchen Rules, a competitive cookery series on Channel 4 last Autumn, was effectively an audition for the Bake Off job.

"I love cooking, the doing of it", she writes on her website.

But Mary and hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, opted to leave as makers Love Productions chose to take the show to Channel 4.

Leith no doubt gives Berry a run for her money in terms of her culinary career: she has been everything from a restauranteur, caterer, television presenter and broadcaster as well as a journalist, cookery writer and novelist.

In 1975, she founded her own food and wine school and 20 years later helped found the Prue Leith College, which became Prue Leith Chef's Academy.

Leith has also been open about her personal life, revealing in her memoir, Relish: My Life on a Plate that she had a 13-year affair with author Rayne Kruger, the husband of her mother's best friend.

Born in South Africa in 1940, Leith tried various courses at Cape Town university, including Drama, Fine Art, Architecture, before moving to France to to study the language.

Leith is a former chair of the Children's Food Trust, which campaigns to encourage the nation's children to eat more healthily, and was awarded an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours.


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