Restaurateur and cookery writer Prue Leith is expected to serve as Mary Berry’s replacement on Channel 4’s revamped Great British Bake Off – and she could be in for some serious dough!
According to reports, the 77-year-old TV cook is rumoured to be joining Paul Hollywood on the beloved baking series for a staggering £200,000 – nearly three times more than Mary Berry earned in the head judge spot on the BBC.
Mary, 81, and Paul, 51, are said to have commanded just £70,000 for their roles on the Beeb’s original GBBO series, before Channel 4 acquired the rights to the show as part of a new three-year deal worth £75 million.
“Prue Leith is a cooking legend and has a lot of respect in the food world,” a source told The Sun. “The BBC were really under-paying both Mary and Paul during their time on the show.
“Bake Off had a relatively low budget, which didn’t increase even as its popularity went through the roof. That meant the stars were left on very low salaries in relation to the show’s huge success.
“Prue will be on a lot of money but it’s not an unexpected amount for one of the main faces on a show as big as Bake Off to be earning.”
Channel 4, however, has refused to confirm Prue’s rumoured place on the programme, saying in a statement: “We will announce the line-up for the next series of The Great British Bake Off in due course.”
Meanwhile, show bosses have also been tasked with finding replacements for presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who stepped down from the much-loved series last year to pursue other ventures.
Speaking about Channel 4’s takeover, an insider previously said: “They are determined to get the best possible presenters they can but they are still a while off yet because so many of the obvious candidates love Bake Off.
“No one wants to be the person who took it on and failed.”
Filming for the new series of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 is scheduled to begin in May, so we guess the prue will be in the pudding then!