South African Prue Leith has landed Britain top telly job and takes over to present The Great British Bake Off it has been revealed.

The amateur baking show has been one of BBC’s biggest prime time successes in recent years but the show moves to commercial rival Channel 4 this year.

Prue (pictured left) replaces Mary Berry who did not make the move after Bake Off makers Love Productions signed a £25m a year deal to take the show to Channel 4.

The 76-year-old restaurateur, writer and food campaigner is already a familiar face to British TV audiences and will join Paul Hollywood.

Prue has appeared regularly on television, including as a judge on BBC’s The Great British Menu — where Mary has also appeared as a guest.

Before the announcement Prue said judging The Great British Bake Off would be her “dream”.

Leith has worked with Channel 4 as a judge on competitive cooking show My Kitchen Rules UK, which aired late last year. She was also a judge for 11 years on the BBC’s Great British Menu

The mother of two is also a successful novelist and newspaper columnist, and she ran a Michelin-starred restaurant and founded cookery college Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 1975.

She sold the business in 1993 and the restaurant two years later — before launching a college in South Africa.

Prue was awarded an OBE in 1989, and a CBE in 2010.


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