Prue Leith has pulled out of 'Junior Bake Off'.

Prue Leith

Prue Leith

The 80-year-old celebrity chef will still be a judge on 'The Great British Bake Off', but it is said she will sit out the new series of the youthful spin-off series because it is "essentially impossible" to quarantine youngsters in the same way as adults, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A source said: "Producers realised that under-16s were essentially impossible to quarantine in the same way you would adults, so to be on the safe side Prue is only going to do the main series."

Prue judges the junior show alongside former 'Bake Off' contestant Liam Charles, and both he and host Harry Hill are expected to return for the new series, which will start shooting "very soon".

The source added: "Production has already started up and cameras will begin rolling very soon.

"It's not yet been confirmed who will join Liam as a judge, if anyone."

A production source told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column: "With Covid-19 causing headaches for filming schedules Prue could only do either the main series or the junior version, so she had to make a choice."

This comes after it was confirmed this week that filming for the new series of the main show is already underway, ahead of the programme returning later this year.

Gary Davey - CEO of Sky Studios, the parent company of 'Bake Off' producer Love Productions - said filming is "going very well" on the show, and added: "As you can imagine, there was a lot of work collaboratively between Love Productions and our Covid protocols team just to get that right."

Sky Studios chief commercial officer Jane Millichip revealed the show has moved to a more coronavirus-friendly location.

She said: "It's all happening in deep secret, somewhere in darkest deepest Britain in the shires.

"You will have your Victoria sponge this year."

Bake Off's contestants, crew members, judges, and presenters - including new co-host Matt Lucas - are all said to have isolated before filming commenced.