Prue Leith Hopes New Novels Will Be ‘New Downton Abbey'

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Rex)

She's been winning hearts and ratings over on Channel 4 with The Great British Bake Off, but now it seems Prue Leith hopes to emulate that success with her latest literary venture.

The chef is currently parking her culinary skills to return to fiction writing. Prue has penned several books before, but she clearly has big ambitions for her latest project, revealing her hopes that it will be the next Downton Abbey.

In an interview with the Mirror Online, Prue revealed that she is writing a trilogy of novels, starting in the war - similarly to Downton Abbey's historical background.

She also admitted that she sees the books being made into a TV series just like the hugely successful ITV show - but confessed that she wouldn't care to star in them herself.

During the interview at the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer Of The Year Awards, she said, "I'm finishing a trilogy of novels. It starts in the war, and there's love stories through three generations of the same family.

"My big ambition is for it to be the new Downton Abbey.

"I don't want to be in it, I want to write it. Maybe a little cameo performance."

She also confessed that she'd mirrored the novels on her own life - "A lot of it is based on personal experience - especially the middle book, that was my period, cooking in England from the 60s to now."

(Could the Prue Leith novel see the same success as Downton?)

And she even already has visions for who might star in the TV adaption of her books.

"There's a character in the first book, very pompous, ex-army, and I think I'd like Nathaniel Parker, a lovely actor, to play that."

Prue also spoke about how she's adjusting to her new-found fame following her role on Bake Off, admitting that she regularly gets recognised in public now.

"It's an ego trip. People who stop you in the supermarket are really nice."

However, she admitted to the Mirror that she not actually a fan of watching herself on screen. She confessed, "I'm so vain, all I can think is ‘why won't they stop filming my double chin?'"

It's not known when Prue Leith's books will be released, but the cook/author has penned a range of fiction titles before.

Most recently, she released The Prodigal Daughter, a tale about an Italian family in the restaurant trade. She's written around seven works of fiction in her time, along with - of course - her successful cookery books.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist, currently working as Life Channel Editor at She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on other women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on 

She is obsessive about everything homes and interiors—whether she's sniffing out the very best deal on a KitchenAid stand mixer or keeping up the latest Dyson release. And when she isn't editing or writing articles on interior trends or the latest home gadgets, she's passionate about books—you'll usually find her with her nose in a gripping thriller at the end of the working day.