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Bake Off cast and crew 'to isolate together to protect Prue Leith'

Bake Off cast and crew 'to isolate together to protect Prue Leith'
© Channel 4
The Great British Bake Off's cast and crew will reportedly isolate together for six weeks in order for 80-year-old judge Prue Leith to take part.

The cast and crew on the next series of The Great British Bake Off will reportedly isolate together for six weeks so that Prue Leith can take part.

The Channel 4 show normally films across consecutive weekends in the spring, with the contestants returning home during the week in order to practise and continue with their day jobs.

The coronavirus lockdown meant that filming of the new run did not kick off as planned in April, but according to the Daily Mail, producers have now come up with an alternative plan to get things going.

At the age of 80, Leith is considered to be in the 'vulnerable' category of contracting COVID-19, and as a result the show has been unable to get the necessary production insurance to go ahead.

The new plan would see all of the cast and crew - including Leith's fellow judge Paul Hollywood, presenter Noel Fielding and new co-host Matt Lucas - taking tests to show that they are free of coronavirus before living together in their own form of lockdown while the show is filmed.

"There were difficulties getting insurance because of Prue's age. She's 80 and so is of a higher risk," a source told the newspaper. "It would have been impossible for the show to have gone on without her, and it would have been hugely unfair to leave her out because of her age.

"She is absolutely adored and everyone wanted her involved. So it was decided some major changes would have to be made. It's a huge commitment to be away from home for so long and for some members of the crew it is very hard because they have families.

"However, the view is that it's work, which during this pandemic has been very hard to come by due to the halting of so many programmes mid-production. Bake Off bosses have jumped through hoops to make this happen."

Bake Off normally begins on Channel 4 in the last week of August and runs for 10 weeks, but the start date will almost certainly be forced back due to the delays in production.

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Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith from the Great British Bake Off
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