GREAT British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has been made a dame by the Queen during her Birthday Honours list.

The national treasure, who lives near Chipping Norton in West Oxfordshire, is being recognised for services to food, broadcasting and charity.

It is the latest honour for the 81-year-old, who was previously made an OBE in 1989 and a CBE in 2010.

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The South African-born restaurateur and broadcaster replaced Dame Mary Berry on Bake Off when it moved to Channel 4 in 2017.

After a spell in Paris as a student, Leith moved to London in the 1960s to pursue a career in the food industry.

In 1974 she founded her own cookery school, Leith’s School of Food and Wine, which trains professional chefs and amateur cooks.

She sold the school in the early 1990s before setting up a college in South Africa, and carved out a career as a cooking columnist and novelist, as well as a television personality.

Leith spent more than a decade as a judge on BBC Two’s Great British Menu before switching to Bake Off when it moved to Channel 4 in 2017.

She replaced another dame – Mary Berry.

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While Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 was controversial at the time, Leith has proved to be a fan favourite and established a winning rapport with co-host Paul Hollywood.

The show remains hugely popular.

However, Leith’s time on Bake Off has not been without incident.

In 2017 she apologised after accidentally revealing the winner hours before the episode was due to air.

She blamed being in Bhutan and being confused over the time difference for the slip.

Leith was married to South African author Rayne Kruger for almost 30 years until his death aged 80 in 2002.

They had two children – including Danny Kruger, Conservative MP for Devizes in Wiltshire.

Leith sparked controversy in May last year after sharing support for her son’s friend, Dominic Cummings.

She called for a 'bit of kindness and tolerance' for Boris Johnson’s former top adviser after he was widely criticised for allegedly breaking lockdown rules.

Leith married fashion designer John Playfair in 2016.