Prue Leith forced to accept round the clock protection over Great British Bake Off threats

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It seems that when Channel 4 bosses snatched the beloved ‘Great British Bake Off’ off of the BBC and drafted in a new presenting team, they were seriously worried about the wrath of the baking show’s loyal viewers.

Prue Leith has revealed she was given round the clock protection when she took up the offer to replace Mary Berry as a judge on the hit series.

Prue Leith reveals show’s bosses gave her a security guard (Photo: James Watkins/WENN)
Prue Leith reveals show’s bosses gave her a security guard (Photo: James Watkins/WENN)

The 77-year-old restaurateur is set to helm the cooking series alongside Paul Hollywood, Noel Fielding and Sandi Tosvig, and initially refused the offer of a close protection officer to keep an eye on her and her family, because she didn’t think she would be “trolled” following her new role.

Speaking about the changes she has had to deal with since she confirmed her judging position to The Sun Online, she said: “On the day that they announced who the line-up was, they wanted to send a close protection officer.

“My husband and a bunch of friends were going out to dinner to a really nice restaurant in London.

“I said, ‘Don’t be ridiculous, we absolutely do not need a copper standing there looking.’

The veteran TV cook is favourite to take on the Bake Off judging role alongside Paul Hollywood (Copyright: REX/Shutterstock)
The veteran TV cook is favourite to take on the Bake Off judging role alongside Paul Hollywood (Copyright: REX/Shutterstock)

“But they said, ‘No, no, no, we really must just to be on the safe side.’

“What did they think is going to happen? I’m not likely to be trolled. This is a nice family show.”

However, the ‘Great British Menu’ critic had no other choice but to accept the security measures,after she noticed the protection team had ignored her refusal and had already pitched up outside her Cotswolds home. She continued: “When I got home that night at 11 at night, there’s a chap in a van, a security guard.

“They sent somebody down to the country to look after me. And they sent someone to look after my agent. I mean, who do they think I am? Do they think I’m Prince Philip or something? I was really amazed that they really look after you.”

Prue Leith will reportedly earn three times more than Mary Berry in her Great British Bake Off role (Copyright: David Hartley/Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock)
(Copyright: David Hartley/Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock)

Although Prue has replaced former judge Mary Berry on the show, she has revealed the pair hold no bad feelings towards the other, and the 82-year-old culinary mastermind has reached out to her to warn her about being bombarded by fans.

Speaking about Mary’s advice, Prue recalled: “[Mary said] ‘Look, if there’s a big story there might be somebody at the gate, but most people like the show. It’s quite nice walking into the supermarket and being asked: ‘Are you the lady off the telly?’ That happens to me now and I always enjoy it.’”

Read more:

Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball to host new BBC cooking contest
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood to reunite in the US?

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