Bake Off star Prue Leith prescribed drugs to deal with stage nerves ahead of London Palladium show

"I was so frightened that I went to my doctor and said give me something to stop my heart banging!' Prue told Charlene White.

Prue Leith's doctor prescribed The Great British Bake Off star drugs to help the presenter deal with a severe case of nerves during her 34-date stage tour, called Nothing in Moderation.

The 82-year-old restaurateur and broadcaster said appearing in her first ever live show was "frightening" and her heart made so much noise that, at first, she couldn't enjoy it.

"I have loved doing the show but didn’t at the beginning, I was terrified!" Prue told ITV News London.

"I was very frightened, my heart was making so much noise and I wasn’t enjoying it. But then I got to like it and I am completely addicted - I love it! I am worried about stopping," she added.

Dame Prue's show takes the audience through the ups and downs of being a successful businesswoman and describes what it's like to feed the rich and famous.

She's about to appear on one of the West End's most legendary stages - The London Palladium - and is feeling daunted.

"I am frightened about the London Palladium because it is huge and you think of all the people who have trodden the boards," Prue explained.

"I can’t believe I am going to be on my own standing on the London Palladium stage."

During the tour the nerves got so bad Prue decided to get some medical help to stop her heart "crashing around".

She added: "I was so frightened that I went to my doctor and said give me something to stop my heart banging! And she gave me some beta blockers which slows down the rate at which your heart is crashing around.

"I took them for a few days and then I forgot and then I wasn’t frightened - so I got a bit of drug help."

The Bake Off star said modern technology helped her perform on stage as microphones helped project her voice naturally.

Prue Leith fell in love with cooking when she was at University Credit: David Parry/PA Archive/PA Images

Prue's talents mean she has also found fame in America where she can barely walk down the street without being recognised.

"[Bake Off] is huge in America," she said.

"I can’t walk down the street without being recognised and the reaction from Americans is much more over the top.

"If Brits want a selfie they are much more reserved - but Americans are much different!

"We did a couple of shows in Los Angeles and I thought I’d get a standing ovation before opening my mouth! They are just wowed about Bake Off," Prue explained.

Prue Leigh said she was aiming to give her best performance at London's Palladium.

She said it was "wonderful" when the audience was laughing and happy.

"And then I get happy - best drug in the world!" she added.

Dame Prue joined The Great British Bake Off in 2017 as a judge alongside Paul Hollywood.

The TV baker will also be making a documentary this year alongside her son Danny Kruger, Conservative MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, about legalising assisted death in honour of her older brother David who suffered from bone cancer and died in 2012.

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