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Andi Oliver revealed as new judge on Great British Menu

TV DATE: Andi Oliver

BROADCASTER AND cook Andi Oliver has been revealed as a new judge on BBC Two’s Great British Menu. Her appointment comes as Prue Leith recently made her last show – after 11 series judging some of the best chefs in the country.

Oliver, who is a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet and appears on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, will join judges Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton when Great British Menu returns to BBC Two next year.

Oliver said: “I couldn't be more thrilled to be joining the judging panel of the Great British Menu! It's such an iconic programme and I have watched it religiously from the very beginning.

“I love that it celebrates the extraordinary levels of culinary excellence in this country, so being part of that and having the chance to taste some truly incredible food from the best chefs in the country is hugely exciting! Who wouldn't want to do this job?”

Prue Leith said: “Being a judge on Great British Menu has brought me huge pleasure over the years and I’m conscious of the great fortune I have had in eating and judging the very best in modern British cooking.

“From the first Great British Menu for the Queen’s 80th birthday to honouring those who fought on D-Day, I’ve been repeatedly amazed at the inventiveness and skill of the chefs. I am very proud of the banquets we’ve put together.

“However, with 11 banquets under my belt in more ways than one, I think it’s time for a change and, with much hesitation, I’ve decided to relinquish my seat in the judging chamber. I’m sure Andi Oliver will be terrific. And I hope she’ll continue my good work in keeping Matthew and Oliver under some sort of control.”

Fort said: “Oliver and I will miss Prue’s elegant presence, good humour, practical culinary sensibility and occasional verbal clip around the ears. There is no like-for-like with Prue. She is unique, and, luckily for us, so is Andi Oliver.

“Andi is charming, funny, and blessed with sound gastronomic judgement. And I fear she is quite as capable of administering a verbal clip around the ears.”

Oliver Peyton said: “Prue Leith is a legend. It was a massive shock to learn that she’d be leaving me all alone with Mathew Fort. How would I cope? Nobody could replace Prue. Then along came Andi who I fear will be putting Mathew and I in our places all over again.

“I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I will truly miss Prue but I’m a huge fan of Andi’s and can’t wait for her to join us.”

Over the past 11 series some of the UK’s finest chefs have taken part including Tom Kerridge, Marcus Wareing, Angela Hartnett, Nathan Outlaw, Richard Corrigan, Sat Bains, Mark Hix, Jason Atherton, Michael O’Hare, Glynn Purnell, Lisa Allen, Daniel Clifford, Simon Rogan, Phil Howard and Tom Aikens.

Great British Menu will return to BBC Two for series 12 in 2017. The first episode of the next series will be the 500th since the show began.

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