Bets called off as Prue Leith comes closer to replacing Mary Berry on GBBO

Prue Leith appears to have come another step closer to replacing Mary Berry as judge on the Great British Bake Off as bookmakers start to shut down bets.

William Hill has said it is “just waiting for an announcement” after further reports over the last week point to the MasterChef South Africa presenter sealing the deal.

Prue, 77, last week said the job would be a dream come true and that she had already had two auditions and lots of meetings about joining the hit show.

Last year it was announced that the programme will move to Channel 4 for its next series, but both Mary and presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc refused to make the jump from the BBC.

Mary Berry will not be returning to the tent (Hannah McKay/PA)

Other renowned TV chefs previously tipped to return to the tent with remaining judge Paul Hollywood include Nigella Lawson, Delia Smith, Lorraine Pascale and former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

But while Prue may be heading the competition for judge, the race is still open for replacements for Mel and Sue.

Comedian Richard Ayoade is currently in the lead, according to the bookmaker, closely followed by Jennifer Saunders and then Clare Balding.

TV chefs Jamie Oliver and James Martin are also in the running, as well as reality star Scarlett Moffatt and Strictly Come Dancing’s dressy duo Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

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