Prue Leith, 79, is 'frustrated' by those who think older women can't have sex
10 April 2019, 00:44
The 79-year-old author refuses to tame down her own romantic novels.
Prue Leith gets frustrated by people who think older women can’t talk about sex.
The Great British Bake Off star, who turned 79-years-old this year, says she doesn’t shy away from writing steamy sex scenes in her romantic novels despite her grandchildren being “surprised” by her vivid imagination when it comes to the bedroom.
The chef-come-author told Heart: “I wish people would stop going on about the fact that if you’re my age, and in your 70s, you’re not supposed to know about sex and certainly shouldn’t be writing about it.”
“My grandchildren were quite surprised, they didn’t think I knew about that sort of stuff. I didn’t tame it down, I left it exactly as it was. However, my son did say ‘you know mum, dad will never be able to handle this.’”
Prue has written a new romantic novel The Lost Son, the first book in a trilogy which follows the life of a man who was adopted at birth during the Second World War.
While she acknowledges that sex is an important part of any love story, she insists it’s important not to add sex scenes for the sake of it - something she thinks books like Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James have been guilty of doing in the past.
“The most important thing in all good writing is the characters,” Prue tells Heart. “They have to be believable, so you can’t shove a sex scene in because you haven’t had one in 40 pages - that never works.”
She adds: “It has to come out of the characters if they love and fancy one another. If you write very specific sex, you have to be very sure you’re not going to embarrass your reader too, know your audience.”
Prue is enjoying a romance of her very own, as she remarried in 2016 after finding love with her “toy boy” husband John Playfair, whom she had been dating for five years.
She claims her new relationship has given her a new outlook on love, after being left a widow when her late husband Rayne Kruger died aged 80 in 2002.
“I always call John my toy boy because he is only a mere 73,” she says.
“I think anybody of my age, would consider themselves hugely lucky to have found love again - I’ve only ever really found love three times in my life. And all those three men have been amazing.”
Meanwhile, Prue says she wants female authors to be taken seriously when it comes to writing love stories.
“[My book] is a romantic novel, a love story. I always write love stories and I always quite cross because often if a love story is written by a woman it goes on the romantic fiction shelf, whereas if it’s written by men it goes on the literary shelf.
“We don’t all write mills and boon, I like to think I write strong stories about people, both men and women.”