Prue Leith on Bliss on Toast at The Oldie Literary Lunch 13th December 2022

Dec 15, 2022, 02:25 PM


Our final speaker at The Oldie Literary Lunch was Prue Leith on her new cookery book, Bliss on Toast.

Prue Leith is best known for The Great British Bake Off, but her greatest achievement in the room at The Oldie Literary Lunch, said Editor, Harry Mount, was for "writing a column for The Oldie Magazine".

Harry introduced Prue, whose father made explosives in South Africa, as "utter dynamite".

This column has now become a book as it was so popular, called Bliss On Toast. It has been selling like hot toast.

Prue has also written an autobiography called Relish but her huge fan base in America said "no, that's what you put on hamburgers like jam" so in the USA, her book is called I Will Try Anything Once.

Next year, Prue plans to do a one woman show in the spring, touring the UK and then to America. She told The Oldie Readers, "Am I completely mad, I am 82?"

Prue's advice to The Oldie Literary Lunch was, "you can still be old and have a good time".

In the first 25 years of Prue's career she focussed on setting up her cookery business, writing columns and cook books. The next 20 years she wrote novels. This was a time when the boards of most major companies were all occupied by men.

A well known supermarket was asked why 80% of its customers were women, 70% of its staff were women and yet the Board of Directors consisted of men in grey suits. Prue was asked to be on the Board of National Rail. Her first AGM started from 8am until 2pm with no breaks and endless cups of tea, at which point she was "bursting for a wee". Being the only female, she felt embarrassed but eventually had to go, and she stood up. At which point, all the men stood up and bowed her out of the room. They stood up on her return. Prue said to them, "hey guys, can you just treat me like a chap!"

The next stage in her career is the third revolution and is all about television.

Prue gave the sound advice to The Oldie Readers:

"You should do what you want" in life. Even if this has cheesed off her children. She never once watched a football match, and the only parents evening that she took her daughter to, they missed because they missed their train.

However, Prue says, "you serve your grandchildren best by having a good time, and of course, teaching them how to cook, is helpful too."