Prue Leith and her distinctive necklace
Prue Leith and her distinctive necklace (Photo: Channel 4)

British cooking personality Prue Leith raised eyebrows a few weeks ago with a necklace she wore on The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer (a UK charity edition of The Great British Baking Show).

As you’ll see from the image above, some online questioned exactly what the 83-year-old was wearing. Many pointed out the similarity to a bondage “ball gag”.

Leith was in the US this week to promote the return of The Great American Baking Show. Like the UK version, she is a regular judge alongside Paul Hollywood. Yesterday she appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.

Of course, Cohen had to ask her about the necklace and if she knew what a “ball gag” is.

“I do [know] now,” quipped Leith. “But only because of the furor about that necklace. And so now I feel obliged to wear them, in order to…. I just think it’s such nonsense. I don’t want to be intimidated by lots of chaps on Twitter who’ve got dirty minds,” she said, to applause from the audience and fellow guest, Ellie Kemper.


This week, Leith suggested most of the innuendo in the Baking competition goes over her head. Hosts have giggled over “soggy bottoms” and things “rising”.

Recent host, gay comic, Matt Lucas recently left the show in the UK. His replacement is a daytime TV stalwart, Alison Hammond. Leith said she hoped that might lead to a little less blue humor.

Speaking on The Dish podcast, she said, “I never get the jokes. All this stuff about innuendo and things.

“I feel I’m really glad Alison’s coming because at least she’s a woman and she’ll be a little more sensible.”

Dish co-host Angela Hartnett was unsure of this, replying, “I’m not sure about that, we know Alison.”

“Well, those three men, they’re like three children. The word ‘sausage’ puts them into-” Leith continued, pausing to ask: “What’s with you guys?” when the presenters burst into laughter.

“You say sausage and everybody always does laughter. What’s wrong with you guys?” she continued.

“But anyway, that’s them. Over and over again, I’m the butt of the joke because I’m standing there and I don’t understand why everyone’s laughing. But I have said something which apparently is hilarious and it’s rude, but of course, I don’t get it.”

For fans of the format, The Great American Baking Show premieres today, May 5, 2023, on The Roku Channel.

Contestants, judges and hosts for the fifth season of The Great American Baking Show
Contestants, judges and hosts for the fifth season of The Great American Baking Show (Photo: Mark Bourdillon/Roku)

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