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  1. ITV Report

Prue Leith 'to replace Mary Berry' on The Great British Bake Off

Mary Berry (l) could be replaced by Prue Leith (r) Credit: PA

Former The Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry is set to be replaced by television cook Prue Leith, according to reports.

GBBO, which will controversially move to Channel 4 later this year, has been looking for a co-judge for Paul Hollywood since Berry decided to remain with the BBC.

Leith, 76, a former Great British Menu judge, is expected to be seen as a "like for like" replacement for Berry, 81, The Sun reported.

In a revamped version of the popular baking show - first aired on BBC Two in 2010 - previous hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will also be replaced.

Hollywood, 50, is the only member of the original cast to remain with the programme, whose move in channel caused uproar among fans.

Paul Hollywood might soon have a new co-judge on GBBO Credit: PA

A source told The Sun: "Both are from similar backgrounds, so hopefully viewers will be accepting and give Prue a chance to win them over.

"Following in Mary's footsteps is a big challenge. But the producers are confident that Prue has all the attributes. In cookery circles she's practically royalty."

The South African-born author, campaigner and restaurateur stepped down as a judge on The Great British Menu in October after 10 years on the programme.

The makers of the show, Love Productions, said in a statement: "We will be announcing the line-up of The Great British Bake Off in due course."

Last month Berry was named best TV judge at the National Television Awards for GBBO.

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins completed the former cast of GBBO Credit: PA
  • Who is Prue Leith?

Prue Leith first started as a cook at a firm of solicitors but has gone on to become one of Britain's best loved restaurateurs and food writers.

After training at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London she worked as a caterer before opening her restaurant Leith's in west London in 1969.

In 1974 she founded her own cookery school, Leith's School of Food and Wine, which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks.

Famous alumni of the school include Lorraine Pascale, Gizzi Erskine and Matt Tebbutt, as well as Michelin-star chefs including Joe Mercer Nairne and Matt Christmas.

Lorraine Pascal is one of a string of famous alumni to have attended a Leith's School of Food Credit: ITV

The South African-born cook, 76, has written a dozen cookbooks, most famously Leith's Cookery Bible - a textbook for her school which is frequently updated.

She sold the school in the early 1990s before setting up a college in South Africa and has carved out a career as a cooking columnist and novelist, as well as a television personality.

Leith judged the BBC cookery show The Great British Menu for 11 years before stepping down at the end of last year.

She was awarded an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours.