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Prue Leith Shares Why She’s Using Crutches on “The Great British Baking Show”

Prevention logo Prevention 12/12/2020 Kayla Keegan

If you’re in the U.S. and recently watched The Great British Baking Show: Holidays special episodes just released on Netflix, you likely found yourself wondering why head judge Prue Leith is using crutches.

During the two season 3 episodes of The Great British Baking Show: Holidays, Prue suddenly appears on camera using crutches while her fellow co-judge Paul Hollywood offers up no explanation of her injury. Oddly enough, in the most recent Great British Baking Show series released this past fall, Prue appears to be just fine.

What happened to Prue Leith on The Great British Baking Show?

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As it turns out, Prue did get injured while filming the baking competition in 2019, which is actually when the newest holiday special episodes were shot (despite their recent premiere on Netflix). This also explains why fans see former cohost Sandi Toksvig return to the tent for the holiday competition, despite Matt Lucas taking her spot on the latest regular Baking Show season.

For the British magazine The Spectator, Prue wrote in detail how she wound up hurt last summer while trying to film a funny bit for the show:

Picture the scene: we are filming the opening link for The Great British Bake Off. Here I am in the woods, dressed in a lion suit; Paul Hollywood is the Tin Man, Sandi Toksvig the Scarecrow, and, guess what, Noel Fielding is Dorothy. I leap out on to the yellow brick road, roaring — I feel a hammer blow to my ankle and end up whimpering like the Cowardly Lion I’m portraying. I have snapped my Achilles tendon.

Moments later, the show’s medic came to Prue’s aid and got “to use his ambulance, wheelchair, and considerable skills.” After doctors diagnosed Prue’s injury, they gave her a boot to wear until it healed up and told her to use either a wheelchair or crutches when moving around. And so, in the reunion holiday special episode, Prue is seen walking on crutches moments before presenting winning baker with the iconic cake stand.

While on the mend, Prue continued to push through and judge all versions of The Great British Baking Show, including the kids’ version Junior Bake Off in 2019. At the Edinburgh International Book Festival last summer, the esteemed chef was in high spirits as she posed for photos in her wheelchair (see picture below):

Prue Leith wearing a suit and tie: Prue Leith attends the Edinburgh International Book Festival while seated in a wheelchair on August 10, 2019. © Simone Padovani/Awakening Prue Leith attends the Edinburgh International Book Festival while seated in a wheelchair on August 10, 2019.

Thankfully, Prue seems to be doing much better these days. This past season, which was filmed in 2020, Prue didn’t appear to be using her crutches anymore. We’re hoping it’s a sign that she’s feeling much better these days.

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