Friday 17 November 2017

Mary Berry's 'like for like' replacement for The Great British Bake Off revealed?

Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins, Mary Berry and Mel Giedroyc (BBC/PA)
Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins, Mary Berry and Mel Giedroyc (BBC/PA)
Mary Berry with the Best TV Judge Award at the National Television Awards
Rachel Allen had been tipped for the role. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Prue Leith has been tipped as Mary Berry's replacement

Independent.ie Agencies

Mary Berry's replacement judge on The Great British Bake Off has been found, according to reports.

Prue Leith is reportedly set to replace Mary Berry as a judge on Channel 4's new incarnation of The Great British Bake Off.

The 76-year-old domestic goddess was seen arriving for screen tests alongside a number of other potential judges last month. But now The Sun have reported the South-African restaurateur and writer has landed the prestigious role.

According to the publication, Prue will be judging hopefuls alongside Paul Hollywood, who chose to move with Bake Off to Channel 4 while Mary and hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc remained loyal to the BBC.

Prue Leith has been tipped as Mary Berry's replacement
Prue Leith has been tipped as Mary Berry's replacement

Apparently, Channel 4 bosses see Prue as a "like for like" replacement for Mary, with a source adding of the food campaigner: "In cookery circles, she’s practically royalty”.

She is also the same age that Mary was when The Great British Bake Off launched on the BBC back in 2010. And while Channel 4 are aware devoted fans of the show will be unwilling to see anyone but Mary judging contestants' offerings, they are hopeful that in time she will prove a valid replacement.

Rachel Allen had been tipped for the role. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM
Rachel Allen had been tipped for the role. Picture: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM

"Both are from similar backgrounds, so hopefully viewers will be accepting and give Prue a chance to win them over," the source added.

"Following in Mary’s footsteps is a big challenge. But the producers are confident that Prue has all the attributes. The secret to Bake Off is getting the right dynamic between the faces on-screen."

Mary Berry won the best TV judge award
Mary Berry won the best TV judge award

A spokesperson for Channel 4 refused to comment on The Sun's report, stating: "We’ll be announcing the line-up in due course."

Prue is no stranger to television, having appeared as a judge on BBC show The Great British Menu among other programmes. She also ran a successful Michelin-starred restaurant and founded cookery school Leith's School of Food and Wine in 1975, before selling the business in 1993 and the eatery two years later. She then launched a cookery school in South Africa.

Mary previously said she believes Bake Off will be a success when it moves to Channel 4 later this year.

"The Great British Bake Off is going to Channel 4 and I'm sure it'll be very successful with Paul. Wait and see," she told The Sun.

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