In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine, Prue Leith has spoken for the first time about how she and her husband John Playfair are finally going to live together. The couple, who got married in October 2016, currently maintain separate residences in the Cotswolds. But Prue tells HELLO! that is all set to change. "My husband has a house in the next village, but he stays here every night and only goes home to do his laundry," she tells the magazine during the photoshoot, which took place at her beautiful Cotswolds home. "We will live together one day when we build our 'eventide home', but we didn't move in together here because, at our age, you both have a house full of stuff and the thought of having to throw half of it away is awful."
Prue Leith and husband John Playfair
She and John plan to move to a farmhouse nearby and pass on the house to her children. "John and I will move there," she explains. "Then the children can have this [house], if they want it. And if they don't, we will sell it. We have to do it while we are energetic enough." The busy Great British Bake Off judge, who prides herself on multi-tasking, has just published her eight fiction novel, The Lost Son, which she wrote during downtime on the show. "It's the perfect thing," Prue tells us. "Sandi and Noel are on set almost all of the time because they have to usher the bakers through the process, but Paul and I just turn up and eat cake at the end and go away again. So I sometimes had two hours between takes. And I can write anywhere."
Prue admits she has mastered the art of balancing both praise and criticism on Bake Off. And, she says, her fellow judge Paul Hollywood isn’t as harsh as he seems. "I don't think Paul is nasty," she tells HELLO! "Paul is scary because he has this wonderful ability of just keeping quiet. He just doesn’t say anything, he just looks at you with those steely blue eyes and it must be terrifying; whereas I gabble away – I always want to fill the silence."
To read the full interview, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!, out Monday 22 April