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British Bake Off legend Prue Leith opens up about stage fright ahead of her one-woman show in Dublin

Dame Prue is gearing up to bring her first stage show ‘Nothing in Moderation’ to the 3Olympia Theatre in March.

Deirdre ReynoldsSunday World

Great British Bake Off legend Prue Leith has opened up about her stage fright ahead of her one-woman show in Dublin.

Dame Prue is gearing up to bring her first stage show ‘Nothing in Moderation’ to the 3Olympia Theatre in March. Despite being a veteran of the small screen, the 82-year-old confessed to having second thoughts about stepping into the spotlight without her TV wingman Paul Hollywood.

“When I started this, because I’m very bad at saying no, it just seemed such a good idea,” Prue tells sundayworld.com. “Then, the next thing, it was happening.

“I thought it wouldn’t be too different from talking at a festival or something, which I often do; suddenly it was upon me, and it’s quite different doing a one-woman show because it’s quite professional and slick. I can’t just sit there and natter away.

“The whole thing suddenly made me so nervous,” admits the Bake Off favourite, who replaced Mary Berry as a judge on the Channel 4 hit in 2017. “(The previews) went well in England. Everybody laughed at the right place - except I hadn’t really enjoyed it. I thought, ‘What have I done? I’ve committed to this and it’s going to be awful.’

“But when I got to America they were absolutely hysterical; it was like being a pop star - they were hollering and shouting and banging their feet before I’d even started.

“Hopefully the Irish audience will be just as kind to me!”

Apart from her colourful style, South African Prue is famed for her love of booze-soaked cakes on long-running series, which now has a worldwide fanbase on Netflix.

And the gran-of-four told how she can’t wait to get back to the capital to enjoy a Guinness.

“I love Ireland,” says the restaurateur and cookery author. “I used to go a lot to Dublin, but also to Ballymaloe, to the hotel and restaurant there, which I love.

“I’ve come to do food festivals and I’ve walked the Wicklow Way, which I think is one of the most beautiful walks ever.”

Won by research scientist Syabira Yusoff, season 13 of GBBO saw the judge divide viewers at home by tucking into such unusual treats as cricket-filled truffles during Halloween week.

Adventurous Prue said she’d be more than happy to give traditional Irish dishes such as crubeens a go during her trip.

“I’ll have a go at anything,” she jokes. “I’m very greedy. I don’t honestly know anything (I won’t eat), there’s just one Cornish berry that I don’t like.

“I recently got to like seaweed more, I used not to. I remember the first time I had it was in Ireland and I couldn’t understand it, but I think it’s an acquired taste.”

Meanwhile, she assured Bake Off fans she’s not going anywhere after comedian Matt Lucas - who co-hosts with Noel Fielding - announced earlier this month he’s quitting the show.

“I’m staying with it,” vows Prue. “I’m very sorry Matt’s going. I’m sure they’ll replace him with someone brilliant because it’s a great production company.”

[MUST STAY PLEASE] Prue Leith: Nothing in Moderation comes to the 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin, on March 11, 2023. Tickets are available from €35 from ticketmaster.ie

ENDS


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