New Bake Off judge Prue Leith: ‘If they say we’re ‘not good enough’ then I WILL mind a lot’

With the new series of The Great British Bake Off just around the corner, new judge Prue Leith hopes she and the others will be given a fair chance.

The new series of The Great British Bake Off is so close you can almost smell the burning bread, or panic! While Bake Off veteran Paul Hollywood is keen to reassure viewers it is the same old show, new judge Prue Leith just hopes the public have an open mind.

Ahead of its return TV Times caught up with Paul, Prue and new hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig to find out exactly what we can expect…

Fans are concerned that Bake Off won’t be same show. What would you say to ease their fears?
“I’ve watched the first episode and you’ll not know the difference. The first thing I said was, ‘Bake Off’s back!’ The format is set in stone. In a factory, if you change the staff, the machinery still works. The machinery here is the bakers and the crew.”
Noel: “The magic ingredient is the bakers; they’re always the stars of this show.”

Prue, Sandi and Noel, you’ll inevitably be compared to your predecessors. How do you feel about that?

Prue: “It depends what they say. If they say ‘not good enough’ then I will mind a lot.”
Sandi: “We’ll care if anybody suggests we’ve let the programme down because it’s a wonderful, much-loved show and you wouldn’t want to wreck that.”
Noel: “I don’t think any of us came into this thinking we want to change anything. Sandi and I have different comedy personas, though mine’s quite similar to Mel’s. If we were in Doctor Who, Sandi would be the Doctor and I’d be the dizzy assistant!”

Did it feel odd, Paul, stepping into the same tent for the first time with different people?
“Strangely no. We had had a nice meal and drink together the night before so when we went into the tent, it didn’t even cross my mind. I expected it to, but it feels like I’ve known these guys for years.”
Prue: “He hasn’t called me Mary once!”

prue leith, paul hollywood

How would you describe your judging style, Prue?
“Paul’s certainly bad cop.”
Paul: “I’m not! We’re both honest.”
Prue: “Yes we are. It’s a kind show, but I’m capable of saying ‘It’s just not worth the calories.’ That isn’t my catchphrase, but I’d like it to be!”

Will there still be plenty of kitchen-inspired innuendo?
“I’ve said a few soggy bottoms!”
Noel: “It’s as filthy as ever! I thought Sandi was going to fall over when Paul said to Prue, ‘Nice crack’! A lot of the humour comes from the show’s format. I’m not usually a pun-man, but I’m enjoying it!”

The Great British Bake Off returns Tuesday, August 29 on Channel 4

Interview by Sarah Selwood

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