The UK is ‘the most unbelievably class-ridden country’, says Prue Leith

Prue Leith has said that the UK is "the most unbelievably class-ridden country".

The Great British Bake Off judge, 80, told the Radio Times she was shocked by the class divide when she moved to England from South Africa.

She told the magazine: "In South Africa there's a racial divide, and that was terrible."But when I came to England, I couldn't believe the gradations of class.

"People were looked down on for saying 'toilet'."

Prue Leith
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Prue Leith
Prue Leith on stage during the Music for Marsden concert at the O2 Arena, Greenwich, London. Picture date: Tuesday 3rd March 2020. Photo credit should read: David Jensen/ EMPICS Entertainment
File photo dated 14/2/2017 of Prue Leith who has said the way she brought up her children would not be acceptable today.
File photo dated 13/03/18 of The Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, who had admitted to a "slight feeling of panic" at turning 80.
Prue Leith attends the opening night of English National Ballet's Cinderella at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (Photo by James M Warren / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Prue Leith attending the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Prue Leith attending the Mary Poppins Returns European Premiere held at the Royal Albert Hall, London
The Duchess of Cornwall (left) with Prue Leith at a reception to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Literacy Trust at Plaisterers' Hall in London.
Author Prue Leith with her husband John Playfair at a reception to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Literacy Trust at Plaisterers' Hall in London.
Michelle Hemsley (left) and Prue Leith with the award for Food Programme Sponsored by SMEG for 'The Great British Bake Off' during the 2018 TRIC Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Prue Leith with the Food Programme Award at the 2018 TRIC Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
The Duchess of Cornwall greets Prue Leith (right) at the Women of the Year Lunch at the InterContinental Hotel, in Mayfair, London.
Prue Leith attending the Specsavers' Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards 2017 at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.
The Duke of Edinburgh meets Prue Leith at the Duke of Edinburgh's Award gold award presentations, at Buckingham Palace, London.
Prue Leith who has been tipped to replace Mary Berry as a judge on The Great British Bake Off, attends A Very Special Afternoon Tea, with nutritionist to the stars Jane Clarke and dementia sufferer Terry Jones, to launch Nourish website & community, helping people living with cancer and dementia through the power of good food, real nourishment and expert support at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Leith added that there is a "nervousness about stepping out of your class" in the UK, adding: "I remember people saying, 'You shouldn't have ideas above your station'.

"You bloody well should!"

Leith said she "can't bear" to hear her own voice because it sounds "posh".

She added that she thinks there is also a class divide in the diets of people in the UK.

The full interview is in the Radio Times (Radio Times/PA)

"I think it's true that, generally, educated people have a better life because they know more stuff and they know how to do things," she said.

Leith, who said she never buys ready meals or takeaways, added: "I can make a really cheap meal with cabbage, bacon, onion and garlic.

"The people who most need to feed their children nutritiously and cheaply because they haven't got much money are the ones that have the least education about cooking and food."

– The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.

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