Prue Leith opens up on love affair as Bake Off star says she had to end the union

Prue Leith recalls accidentally going to an orgy in Paris

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Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith, 81, opened up about a relationship she had with a man who ticked all of her boxes. The Channel 4 star admitted she had no regrets over their union as she wouldn’t have been able to “hook up” with her now-husband John Playfair.

The Bake Off judge said she had “a lot of good times” with her former lover Ernest Hall but said she couldn’t live with him since he had bipolar disorder.

Speaking on Annie Mac’s podcast which aired yesterday, Prue revealed weeks before meeting him she had drunkenly told friends at a dinner party, her desired qualities of meeting a man in 2010.

She explained that she was looking for “someone Jewish, in his 70s, a musician and gay”.

The South African cook was previously married to author Rayne Kruger from 1974 to 2002, when he died at the age of 80.

“I fell in love with him and he was a pianist. There was the musician,” she began.

“He loved music and food and he was in his 70s. And thank god he wasn’t gay! Because I discovered that I still quite liked all that.”

She continued: “We had four years together – it was a real rollercoaster. A lot of is was wonderful…

“We were trying to build a concert hall in Lanzarote where he had a house. We had a lot of good times together.

“He was Bipolar which meant that every now and then he would be absolutely impossible.”

She added: “I am still friends with him but I couldn’t have lived with him.”

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.

Symptoms can include feelings of depression and mania, according to the NHS.


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Addressing her hunt for romance, Prue detailed attending a dinner party as a single woman.

“I went to a dinner party and I met a bunch of people and it was quite funny as when you are a single woman a) you don’t get invited to many dinner parties and if you do there are probably two other single women there,” she commented.

“Some friend is being really nice with the friends she ought to have to dinner.”

Prue went on: “You find yourself at dinner and if you are sitting next to a man, it is probably someone else’s husband whose wife is in hospital.

“Or it is somebody who is single for a very good reason, like he is awful. So… I was having fun. I’d had a few drinks.”

The Bake Off judge explained that she started her ill-fated affair just a few weeks later.

Prue said she was glad she left because she met her second husband John a year later, with whom she tied the knot in 2016.

She commented: “If I’d been with Ernest, I’d never have been able to hook up with John.”

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