Prue Leith says UK is the 'most unbelievably class-ridden country'

Yahoo Celebrity UK
Prue Leith attends a photocall during the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019 on August 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images)
Prue Leith attends a photocall during the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2019 on August 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images)

Prue Leith has said she "couldn't believe" the class divisions in the UK when she first moved to the country.

The Great British Bake Off judge grew up in South Africa before coming to the UK in 1960 where she was shocked at the divide, which she says also extends into food.

She told Radio Times: "This is the most unbelievably class-ridden country. In South Africa there’s a racial divide and that was terrible.

Read more: Prue Leith thinks the young should be saved over elderly in pandemic

"But when I came to England, I couldn’t believe the gradations of class. People were looked down on for saying 'toilet'."

British-South African restaurateur, chef television presenter, author and businesswoman Prue Leith at Paddington rail station, London, UK, 2nd November 1983. (Photo by Howes/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British-South African restaurateur, chef television presenter, author and businesswoman Prue Leith at Paddington rail station, London, UK, 2nd November 1983. (Photo by Howes/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The 80-year-old went on: "There is a nervousness about stepping out of your class – 'That’s not for the likes of me.' That’s absolute nonsense. I remember people saying 'You shouldn’t have ideas above your station.' You b****y well should!"

Leith also remarked that "educated people have a better life because they know more stuff" while poorer people who need to feed their children cheaply and nutritiously "are the ones that have the least education about cooking and food".

She's previously opened up on her privileged background as the privately educated daughter of a company director and an actor.

Prue Leith (2nd-L), with daughter Li-Da Kruger (L), her son Danny Kruger and his wife Emma pose after she became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Princess Royal during the investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on October 5, 2010 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prue Leith (2nd-L), with daughter Li-Da Kruger (L), her son Danny Kruger and his wife Emma pose after she became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Princess Royal during the investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on October 5, 2010 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The cook is mother to Conservative MP Danny Kruger, whom she recently backed after he voiced support for Dominic Cummings and his decision to travel 260 miles to his parents' house despite lockdown restrictions.

She also appeared alongside her adopted daughter Li-Da Kruger in a documentary this year which saw the pair travel to Cambodia to explore Li-Da’s heritage and track down any surviving relatives.

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