Veteran restau­ra­teur Prue Leith, CBE – fa­mously burned in the last se­ries after ac­ci­den­tally tweet­ing the win­ner be­fore the fi­nal aired – is a dark horse where her love life is con­cerned.

The 78-year-old South African, re­vealed in her 2012 mem­oir that her re­la­tion­ship with her late hus­band, writer Rayne Kruger, be­gan as an af­fair, which lasted 13 years! Shock­ingly, Rayne was the much younger hus­band of Prue’s mother’s best friend, an ac­tress called Nan, mean­ing he was also step­fa­ther to three chil­dren Prue grew up with. Even as a young girl, she has ad­mit­ted, ‘I had a se­cret pas­sion for him, and would fan­ta­sise that he had a younger, iden­ti­cal brother who would mirac­u­lously ap­pear and fall in love with me.’ The bonds be­tween their fam­i­lies were so close that Prue her­self de­clared, ‘It was prac­ti­cally in­cest.’

After 13 years of their cloak-anddag­ger re­la­tion­ship, Prue be­came broody – and Rayne agreed they’d marry and have a fam­ily (Daniel, fol­lowed later by adopted daugh­ter Li-Da). Per­haps the most in­cred­i­ble part of this love story is that Nan re­mained friends with both Prue and Rayne, in­sist­ing she wanted no feud. The pair were happy for 28 years, un­til Rayne’s death in 2002.

Prue, forced to miss last week’s episode of the show after fall­ing ill, found love again with ‘toy boy’ hus­band John Play­fair, 70, who she mar­ried in 2016, and has spo­ken about their siz­zling love life. Trust this grande dame of the kitchen never to be con­ven­tional!

The star with ‘ toy boy’ sec­ond hus­band John

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