Is Prue Leith married and does she have kids? Everything we know about the Bake Off judge's family life

Viewers have been wondering if the TV presenter has a spouse or children

Prue Leith sat in an armchair on a talk show
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fans of The Great British Bake Off are wondering if Prue Leith is married and whether she has children.

The start of Bake Off 2023 is almost upon us, and if you're a fan of the show you'll already be familiar with Prue, who replaced Mary Berry when the popular baking contest moved from the BBC to Channel 4. Before Bake Off, Prue worked as a judge on rival cooking show The Great British Menu and, as well as presenting, Prue is most famous for founding a cookery school and the Michelin-star restaurant Leith's. She was made a Dame in 2021, and this year went on tour with her first live stage show Nothing in Moderation, where she talked to audiences about her long-standing career.

But despite being in the limelight for many years, fans know little about Prue's family life. And just like Bake Off fans want to know if fellow judge Paul Hollywood is married, as the new series arrives many are asking the same questions about Prue Leith...

Is Prue Leith married?

Prue Leith is married to retired clothing designer John Playfair. The pair met in 2011 and married in Scotland five years later, when she was 76 and he was 70.

Discussing their relationship on The Jonathan Ross Show back in 2021, Prue said: "What people don’t realise, especially young people, it actually feels exactly the same at 70, 80 or 60 when you lust after someone as you do when you’re 20. All this rubbish goes through your head. You behave like a teenager. It’s just wonderful."

The married couple originally lived apart in separate homes, but they built a house together in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, where they both now live.

Has Prue Leith been married before?

Prue was previously married to South African property developer and author Charles 'Rayne' Kruger for 28 years. The couple met while he was still with his wife Nan Munro, Prue's mother's best friend. Prue was his mistress for 13 years before they married when she was 35.

Rayne died in 2002, aged 80, after falling ill with emphysema, which caused a lung infection.

Does Prue Leith have kids?

Prue Leith has two children, a son and a daughter with her late husband Rayne. They adopted their Cambodian daughter Li-Da Kruger, who is a filmmaker. Their son Danny Kruger was a speechwriter and adviser to David Cameron and he is now a Conservative MP.

Prue also has five grandchildren, who she loves cooking with. She once told her followers on social media: "It's Seville Orange season and that means marmalade!! I love making marmalade with my grandchildren. It's hot, sticky and very wonder they love it so much!!!"

However, she admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail: "If anything, I'm a worse granny than I was a mum. I am happy to have them join me in doing stuff that interests me, such as gardening."

Where is Prue Leith from?

Prue was born in Cape Town, South Africa, although she has spent most of her working life in London. Her father Sam Leith worked for African Explosives producing dynamite for use in mines, and later served as a director. Her mother Margaret "Peggy" Inglis was an acclaimed actress.

Prue went to an English independent boarding school for girls in Johannesburg from the age of five to 17. She fell in love with food while studying cours de la civilisation française at the Sorbonne in Paris. She then went on to do an advanced course at the Cordon Bleu Cookery School when she returned to London in 1961, admitting in an interview with Sheerluxe that she "bluffed her way into" it.

She told Sheerluxe: "To get into the advanced course you had to have done their beginners or intermediate course or worked in a restaurant. I said I’d worked in one in Paris, and luckily they didn’t question me too deeply…I’d only worked a few Saturday nights as the washer up and hadn’t done any cooking at all. One white lie was a very big black lie!"

What is Prue Leith famous for?

Prue is a judge on The Great British Bake Off, and she has starred on various other cooking shows including The Great British Menu, My Kitchen Rules and Junior Bake Off.

Before her TV career, she was a renowned restaurateur, caterer, food writer, and novelist. The culinary queen has written a host of best-selling cookbooks, including Prue: My All-time Favourite Recipes and Bliss on Toast: 75 Simple Recipes

She's also written novels, children's books and poetry, including her autobiography, Relish: My Life on a Plate.

As well as publishing books, Prue has worked as a cookery correspondent for several newspapers like the Daily Mail, The Sunday Express and The Guardian.

Her website states that she started off by supplying high-quality business lunches, parties and events in 1960. In 1969, she opened Leith's, her famous Michelin-starred restaurant in Notting Hill which she ran for 25 years.

In 1975, she founded Leith's School of Food and Wine, which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks. She also opened the Prue Leith Chefs Academy in South Africa.

In 1989 Prue received an OBE, followed by a CBE in 2010 and in 2021 she was made a Dame in the late Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours for services to food, broadcasting and charity.

What is Prue Leith's salary?

Prue's Bake Off salary is a closely guarded secret. However, The Sun previously reported that when she signed her contract back in 2017 she was paid £200,000 a series.

If that figure is correct, it would mean that Prue is paid nearly three times more than her predecessor, Mary Berry. Meanwhile, Paul Hollywood is rumoured to be paid £400,000 per series - quadrupling the pay packet he received at the BBC.

For fans of the show, we've got plenty of Bake Off related recipes for you to try, from Mary Berry's lemon drizzle cake and Paul Hollywood's scones to 2015 winner Nadiya Hussein's teriyaki salmon.

Maddy Biddulph
Freelance parenting writer

Maddy Biddulph is a freelance journalist specialising in lifestyle and family-focused content. With 25 years in consumer media, she has worked as a writer and editor for some of the bestselling newspapers, magazines and websites in the UK and US.  As a mum of two art-obsessed daughters, Daphne and Esther, Maddy is always looking for parenting hacks to make life easier. She is also a Level 3 personal trainer, and creates energising workouts for busy mums who need some me time.