IT comes as a bit of a surprise to hear Prue Leith admit that she’s “just a little bit scared” about taking her first one-woman show out on the road.

After all, as a judge on the Great British Bake Off, resplendent in brightly coloured outfits and with equally colourful glasses and jewellery she has become something of a national treasure and nothing seems to phase her.

But in a remarkable career that has seen her cook for royalty and run her own hugely successful culinary empire, Nothing in Moderation will be the first time she has been the centre of attention in a theatre show.

“I should say that I’m ready and raring to go,” said Prue, who will come to The Lowry on the second night of a 34-date tour at the beginning of February, “but yes, I am a bit scared.

“Having said that I have done quite a few trial shows and by the end I was loving it.”

Although some of the warm-up shows were closer to home in Bath and Leamington Spa, she also tested it out on audiences in New York and Los Angeles.

Messenger Newspapers: Prue Leith (Picture: Geoff Pugh/PA)

“American audiences are over the top anyway but you’d think I was a pop star, the way they whooped and cheered,” she said. “I thought to myself ‘this is the best time ever’.”

As part of the warm-up shows audiences took part in a survey to see if they would recommend it to a friend.

“It was like being back and school and being marked and I was really nervous,” said Prue. “But the first night, I had 100 per cent saying they would recommend it. I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe the promoter was inventing it.”

You feel the main problem Prue will have with the show is how to fit in all the interesting elements of her life, she has done so much. From catering for events to opening a Michelin-starred restaurant and founding her own cookery school, she’s also been involved in a wide range of organisations including the Royal Society of Arts, improving the catering available to rail users and is even an investor in several start-up companies.

In 2016 she took over from Mary Berry as a judge on Bake Off having previously judged The Great British Menu for 11 years.

“The first half of the show has to be fairly structured,” she said. “There will be all sorts of film clips and photographs which will pop up behind me so I have to stay on track although I can insert other stories should I feel like it. I don’t have to religiously stick to a script.

“To be honest that bit of the show has changed every time I’ve done it so far but I think it needs to be fresh.

“There is a great danger of telling nothing but funny stories about the royal family for example. I’ve got a lot of those and people love them but if you just do that it’s a rather empty thing. You need to have something about the other things in my life.”

Although this is her first solo show, Prue has a great deal of experience of appearing in front of an audience.

“I have done quite a lot of flogging books over the years,” she said. “To be honest there’s not much to say about cook books except to say the recipes are delicious so if I had to do a talk for a literary festival or something I’d probably talk more about my life or career than about the book.

“I think I have done an awful lot of public speaking in my time and I really enjoy it so that’s not what makes me nervous. I think it’s do to with the fact it’s on a theatre stage and I have to vaguely keep to order. I have to think of the tech person having to follow me and put a picture of Paul Hollywood’s eyes up at the right moment!”

Messenger Newspapers: Prue Leith with her Bake Off co-stars Noel Fielding, Matt Lucas and Paul Hollywood

Prue admits that she is still surprised at how people’s reactions to her have changed since she started on Bake Off.

“I still find it remarkable that people like me so much,” she said. “I think I’ve got a rather bossy, school marmy voice and sound a bit too posh. I can’t imagine why people should like me.”

But like her they do and she got a very public demonstration of that when she took part of the late Queen’s Jubilee procession last year.

“We were what Joan Collins called ‘the hags in Jags’, Dames being driven to Buckingham Palace,” she recalls. “We were driving along the Mall and the crowd was shouting ‘Prue we love you’. I tell you what, it’s a fantastic feeling. It’s ridiculous because they don’t really know me, they can’t love me, but they say that. I now understand why performers don’t want to stop, they want that feeling of public love. I don’t think I’ll go on forever but now I understand why others do.”

It’s hard to believe that Prue is 82 - she’ll turn 83 as the tour progresses. And she gives the impression that she’s always up for a challenge.

“I’m only doing this because I’ve never been able to say no to things,” she joked.

That attitude almost led to her appearing on Dancing on Ice.

“I thought it would be fun to do,” she said. “I’d learn to skate, I’d get very thin and be fit. It never occurred to me that I could bust anything But when my family heard what I was planning they said ‘no, you’ll break your neck', so I had to turn it down.”

She was actually persuaded to do her one-woman show by Clive Tulloh who will put questions to her from the audience in the second half of the show.

“He’d done a similar show with Joanna Lumley and suggested I should do one,” said Prue. “I suddenly realised what I agreed to when they booked all the theatres.”

Prue Leith, Nothing in Moderation, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Thursday, February 2. Details from