Popular Baking Show Star Canceled After Kitten Abuse Claims?

Prue Leith from The Great British Bake Off is now being accused of kitten abuse, after revealing she drowned some in her memoir.

By Britta DeVore | Published

While we’ve had a great time laughing along with the hosts of The Great British Bake Off when they say things like “soggy bottoms,” no one’s laughing now after another scandal threatens to destroy the otherwise wholesome competition show. It’s been a wild few weeks on Twitter, and now Bake Off judge Prue Leith is facing some rising temperatures as followers are beginning to throw shade her way after she revealed in her newly released memoir, I’ll Try Anything Once: My Life on a Plate that her mother once made her drown an entire litter of newborn kittens back when she was a child. In an interview with People, the longtime celebrated name in the world of baking and cooking attempted to dispel some of these rumors and better explain the “traumatic experience”.

Now 82 years old, the Bake Off judge tried to break down that the upsetting events happened when she was a young girl on her family’s farm in South Africa, and that she’s not at this current moment in time drowning precious kittens. Prue Leith commented that her writing was taken extremely out of context with folks not “[reading] the story” and instead jumping to the conclusion of, “‘My God! That woman drowns kittens!’” Referring to herself as “Public enemy No. 1” Leith hopes this won’t hurt the viewership of Bake Off, what she called “the kindest, most inclusive, most friendly show in the world.”

The actual excerpt from Prue Leith’s book is one of the saddest things we’ve ever read, so we’ll spare you the details, but essentially the chef’s mother was unable to take care of another litter of newly born kittens and made the decision to end their lives by drowning them. Leith goes into a rather detailed account of exactly what happened, so if you wish to seek that out, it’s available in the People link above. Now 70-years-later, Leith believes that her mother was trying to teach her “a life lesson,” but because she’s still thinking about it all these decades later, it seems to have done more harm than good. 

Prue Leith’s troubling memories are just the latest scandal to rock the world of The Great British Bake Off, as the series was recently put on blast following an episode where the theme was Mexican Week, revolving around the contestants putting out their best pan dulce, tacos, and tres leches cake. Quickly voicing their beliefs that the episode was a gross overstep and incredibly culturally appropriative, Mexican chefs spoke out against that week’s competition. To make matters even worse, the beginning of the installment saw the show’s hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas dressed in sombreros and serapes, with Lucas later shaking maracas. 

Despite the show’s recent upsets, it’s continued to be well-loved by a wide demographic of ages tuning in every week to see Prue Leith and her co-judge Paul Hollywood rate the contestants on their baking skills, sending one baker home at the end of each episode. As we’ve done for productions like The Office, the United States just can’t seem to keep its hands off a fan-favorite production like Bake Off, with a version quickly beginning to rise on this side of the pond. Just two months ago, it was revealed that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper would co-host alongside Zach Cherry (Severance) on an Americanized version of the hit British series – although it remains to be seen if Americans will be able to deliver the same niceties the BBC competition program has become known for.