Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith Admits To Drowning Kittens As A Child

Credit: Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith is facing backlash after admitting that she once drowned a litter of kittens when she was younger.

Writing in her memoir ‘I’ll Try Anything Once’, the South African restauranter recalled the incident that stayed in her mind ‘for weeks’.

The Channel 4 star penned: “My mother and I, then 11, had just drowned some kittens… and for weeks I imagined those poor dead creatures.”

She continued: “Too many kittens was a frequent occurrence and there had come a day when my mother, unable to find homes for yet another litter, decided to drown the latest batch.

“My protests were met with a firm, ‘Darling, it has to be done. They are only a few hours old. They will hardly know it’s happening’.”

Leith added that her mother did have a change of heart but it was already too late.

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She continued: “I held the bag underwater until the last kitten had stopped mewing.”

People have discussed Leith’s admission on social media.

One person said: “Drowning kittens with her mother is disgraceful. Not watching Bake Off with that smug vile woman.”

Another shared: “I’d be willing to bet Mary Berry has never drowned a bag of kittens.”

“If I was Prue Leith, I’m not sure I would have admitted to drowning a bag of kittens,” commented a third.

Paul Hollywood (left), Dame Prue Leith (left centre), Noel Fielding (right centre), and Matt Lucas (right).
Dame Prue Leith has been a judge on The Great British Bake Off since 2017. Credit Channel 4

Someone else wrote: “Just read about Dame Prue Leith and her recalling how she drowned a litter of kittens as a child.

“Somethings you are better off dealing with yourself, I just don’t know how anyone could do that even as a child.”

I have to say I didn’t have ‘Prue Leith drowned kittens’ on my 2022 bingo card,” commented another individual.

However, some people have come to Leith’s defence, expressing how the times and circumstances have changed.

One user commented: “When you lived in a rural environment with no vets and livestock to protect then there can be no alternative. Yes, times are different now but not back in her day.”

“My dad did it when I was little. It’s what seemed to be the norm back then, sadly,” shared someone else.

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A third person wrote: “I seem to recall it was always said in my childhood that kittens would be drowned but I never actually came across anyone doing that. It may be honest of Leith to admit it but reputationally she might have been better keeping it to herself and her mouth shut.”

Leith was born and raised in South Africa but moved to the UK when she 20. She has been a judge on The Great British Bake Off since 2017.

Along with being a judge on the famous baking show, she has had numerous TV appearances including Take Six CooksThe Best of British, and The Great British Menu.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.