eclair and present danger
Prue initially turned down the offer of a close protection officer, but Channel 4 insisted
NEW Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has been given full-time protection by coppers to protect her from threats. The 77-year-old and her agent were shocked by the extreme levels of security provide by Channel 4 and show makers Love Productions after she was announced as the official replacement to national treasure Mary Berry.
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Prue was shocked by the extreme levels of security provided by Channel 4
Prue initially turned down the offer of a close protection officer, but the TV companies insisted by sending one to guard her house. In an exclusive interview, the cooking legend revealed: On the day that they announced who the line-up was, they wanted to send a close protection officer.
My husband and a bunch of friends were going out to dinner to a really nice restaurant in London.
Prue revealed they also sent someone to look after her agent
I said, Don t be ridiculous, we absolutely do not need a copper standing there looking.
But they said, No, no, no, we really must just to be on the safe side.
What did they think is going to happen? I m not likely to be trolled. This is a nice family show.
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But when multi-millionaire Prue returned to her home in the Cotswolds, she discovered she had been granted the security protection anyway. She explained: When I got home that night at 11 at night, there s a chap in a van, a security guard.
They sent somebody down to the country to look after me.
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Times Newspapers Ltd
Prue is already known as a cookery queen in culinary circles
I was really amazed that they really look after you.
Prue is being paid 500,000 to replace her close friend Berry, who told her not to worry about any threats.
Prue will return to our screens in Bake Off later this year Paul Hollywood speaks about fellow Bake Off judge Prue Leith
She revealed that Mary told her: Look, if there s a big story there might be somebody at the gate, but most people like the show.
It s quite nice walking into the supermarket and being asked: Are you the lady off the telly? That happens to me now and I always enjoy it. Also joining Prue and the returning Paul Hollywood when the show moves from the BBC to Channel 4 as part of a 75 million deal are new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.
- ^ Channel 4 (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Mary Berry (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prue (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prince Philip (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prue is being paid 500,000 to replace her close friend Berry (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Paul Hollywood (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Sandi Toksvig (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Noel Fielding (www.thesun.co.uk)
Lance Stroll of Montreal, Canada s newest Formula One driver, acquitted himself well during the first and second free-practice sessions for this weekend s season-opening Grand Prix of Australia, even though he was only 16th fastest at end of day.
Because of the time difference, Friday afternoon in Australia was middle-of-the-night in Canada. Those who stayed up late saw Lewis Hamilton who else? go fastest of the 20 cars entered at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne with a time of one minute, 23.620 seconds in his Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in a Ferrari with a time of one minute, 24.167 seconds (he was not happy being a half-second behind) while Valtteri Bottas was third fastest at one minute, 24.176 seconds.
Stroll was 16th fastest, 2.905 seconds slower than Hamilton. However, this was just fine for a driver dipping his toe into F1 waters for the first time and one who was under specific instructions from his team, Williams F1, not to crash his car. Translation: he wasn t pushing.
So far, so good, said Stroll when asked how his day had gone. It was very positive; we had a clean day.
Stroll said the car felt good and that he enjoyed the additional grip, although It made it more physically demanding,
The British commentators – TSN picked up the telecast from the U.K. s Sky Sports were somewhat divided when discussing the 18-year-old Canadian. While most of them had previously labelled Stroll somewhat derisively as a pay driver, conveniently forgetting that all of today s F1 drivers have had to pay their way to race at some point in their careers (Lewis Hamilton had his way paid by McLaren s Ron Dennis), they seemed to be of split opinions this time around.
Ex-driver-turned-TV-commentator Martin Brundle, for instance, was quite favourable when discussing Stroll. He didn t criticize and although not exactly full of praise, was more positive than negative in his analysis of the Canadian s performance.
Some of the others, however, let their attitudes toward anyone from the colonies shine through. When Stroll complained that Kimi Raikkonen was holding him up, the reporting was along the lines of, It s second practice, what do you expect? I guarantee that if any of the other drivers had made a similar complaint, there would have been sympathy in the booth instead of condemnation.
So, as well as being a rookie whose time in the car is limited, as are the laps allowed (Jacques Villeneuve, for instance, had 10,000 miles of testing under his belt before his first race), Stroll has had to take on the media. It s not an easy job.
People forget that the media destroyed Michael Andretti s Formula One career. Yes, he had his problems in the first few races (he stalled on the grid in the first race and crashed at the first corner at the second) but their reporting was frequently beyond the pale. They went after his wife, for instance, for the way she dressed and questioned his dietary habits that included hamburgers rather than muesli.
Ironically, when he quit late in the season, he finished third at the Italian Grand Prix. His podium, I believe, would have been the first of many but he couldn t take the harassment any longer and said the hell with it.
And many of them looked down their noses at Jacques in the beginning. In fact, during the fourth race of his rookie year, the European Grand Prix of 1996, the BBC colour commentator at the time, Jonathan Palmer, spent most of the race criticizing Villeneuve s driving despite the fact that he was in the lead and the second-place driver, a guy named Michael Schumacher, couldn t cut into it, never mind try to pass him.
I was on the Globe and Mail at the time and wrote a column about this lack of objectivity. At that year s Grand Prix of Canada, I was visited in the media centre by a delegation led by a reporter from the Times of London, who wanted to know where I got off criticizing them.
We ve been very fair to him, they harrumphed, but had no reaction when I asked them to show me where, either in print or on the air, they had been as critical toward any of the other Formula One drivers of the day.
When journalists travel in packs, their targets have to have thick skins. I can think of another couple of people who ve found themselves in the crosshairs lately and it s not particularly fun to watch. But I digress.
Pre-qualifying can be seen on TSN5 Saturday morning at 1 a.m. Qualifying comes on at 1:55 a.m. and post-qualifying can be seen at 3 a.m. The race will come on TSN5 Saturday night at 11:30 p.m. with the Australian Grand Prix going to the post on TSN1 and 5 at 12:55 a.m.
POSTSCRIPT: There were several shots of Mercedes pay manager Toto Wolff during the telecast and seeing him reminded me of a story about his wife that I forgot to mention in my column earlier in the week. Suzy Wolff (nee Stoddart), a former test driver for the Williams F1 team and now a promotions representative for Mercedes, has lost her driving licence for six months after being caught going 35 miles an hour in a 30 mph zone. Now, that seems kind of chintzy but it s the old three-strikes-and-you re-out rule, in that she had two previous speeding convictions and had used up nine of the 12 points allowed on her licence. She appealed, citing the embarrassment of the ban, but was rebuffed.
NOW, LET ME get this straight.
Two races ago, Kyle Busch, allegedly an adult, started a fist fight in the pits and then, when he was hauled away by a NASCAR security guard, continued to act like the 10-year-old he is. He embarrassed his team, his sponsors and his sport. He has done this before and as sure as God made those little green apples, will do so again unless somebody lowers the boom on him. For that, though, he was let off Scot-free because, well, according to NASCAR, boys will be boys.
One race ago, Brad Keselowski s car flunked post-race inspection because of what was called a rear-wheel infraction. For this crime, Paul Wolfe, crew chief of Keselowski s car, was suspended for the next three races, fined $65,000 and the team, Penske Racing, and the driver, Keselowski, docked 35 owner and driver points.
I m glad to see that NASCSAR has got its priorities straight.
You can see the Sprint Cuppers in action this weekend on Sunday at California Speedway. The race broadcast on TSN1 and 3 will start at 3:30 p.m. The Xfinity Series race Saturday can be seen on TSN1, 3and 4 at 4 p.m.
TOMMY BYRNE HAS been called the greatest racing driver you never saw. This is not exactly true, because he was employed by Brian Stewart, a team owner from Toronto for a time, and raced at the Molson Indy. But it s true that he never became a household name, which is something that usually happens when racing drivers become great. That Byrne had talent (F3 champion), there is no doubt. But a combination of poor timing, bad breaks and too-hard-living torpedoed his career and he was living in obscurity until Autosport magazine s Mark Hughes wrote a book about him, which has since been made into a documentary film.
The documentary, Crash and Burn (the title of the book is Crashed and Byrned), is going to be shown April 7 and 8 at the Regent Theatre on Mount Pleasant Rd. in midtown Toronto. Presented by Scott Maxwell s Mini Grid shop (just about across the street from the Regent), advance tickets are available at the store or you can purchase them at the theatre.
Tommy Byrne himself is flying to Toronto for the screenings and will be available for autographs and conversation. Says Maxwell: Tommy is quite the story and quite the character. It should be a fun couple of nights.
Bookmark those dates April 7 and 8. I expect most of the racing crowd to show up.
PIT STOPS: The 2017 Toronto International Motorcycle SpringShow, being held this weekend at the International Centre in Mississauga (across from Toronto Pearson airport), is thrilled to announce that Canadian ice road rider Oliver (Brokentooth) Solaro will be appearing. Solar is midway through his latest challenge following the route of French explorer Samuel de Champlain over water and land. Solaro s barely street-legal scalpel -of-a-bike will be on display and he will tell stories of peril, awe, adventure and human kindness. Click on this link to see his featured blog posts: . . . . . NASCAR driver Pete Hamilton has died, age 74. He won the Daytona 500 in 1970 while driving for Richard Petty. He was from Connecticut and was one of the first, if not the first, northern stock car racer to go south to take on the Carolina cowboys and the Alabama Gang. Hamilton ran 64 races in total between 1968 and 1973, winning 12 of 26 races in the Grand American division (now the Xfinity Series). RIP, Pete. . . . . . The top teams in supermodified racing Canadian and American will be shooting for extra points this season in a six-race special series called the Shea Concrete Triple Crown Championship Series presented by ASI Racewear. Participants will race in 10 events at Oswego Speedway in New York (five non-wing events) and along the International Supermodified Association (ISMA) trail (five wing events) and the best three non-wing results plus the three best wing results will determine the six-race points total. The special series will give supermodified owners and drivers chances to earn extra cash. Entered already are Indy 500 veteran Joe Gosek, Dave McKnight Jr. (Gary Morton, owner), Otto Sitterly (John Nicotra, owner), driver-owner Dave Shullick Jr., and car owners Pat Abold, Craig Danzer and Jim Bodnar.
Jihadi broke into Parliament as gates opened for a car carrying the Metropolitan Police’s Acting Commissioner
KHALID Masood broke into Parliament as gates opened for a car carrying Met Police Acting Commissioner Craig Mackey. The chief watched helpless in horror as the knifeman ran past his Range Rover waiting to go through Carriage Gates from the Commons.
Craig Mackey watched in horror as the jihadi ran past his Range Rover armed with a knife
PC Keith Palmer and another unarmed colleague challenged the jihadi while armed colleagues supposed to be behind them were apparently elsewhere. Burly Masood shrugged Pc Palmer s colleague off before repeatedly stabbing him in the neck and armpit leaving his stab-proof vest useless to protect him.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon s two Met Police close protection officers were sitting in a Land Rover in New Palace Yard and were alerted by shouts.
Khalid Masood rammed his car into Parliament s gates and ran into the grounds with a knife Astonishing video of PM Theresa May being rushed into car by elite armed cops as Westminster terrorist attack unfolds
Heroic MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) tried to save the cop but his efforts were tragically in vain Victims trapped as terrorist Khalid Masood smashes car into Parliament gates in Westminster
They opened fire on the knifeman, hitting him with three bullets. Masood was a short distance from an entrance the Commons chamber where MPs were voting on pensions. A Cabinet Brexit meeting was also taking place as the heart of British democracy came under attack.
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An urgent review of security was carried out in the wake of the incident which began at 2.40pm on Wednesday when Masood ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two members of the public and injuring at least 40. The thick-set attacker, clad in black, smashed his rented Hyundai 4×4 into railings at the side of Parliament on Bridge Street. Wielding two large knives, he then ran 30 yards round the corner to the ornamental Carriage Gates allowing MP s vehicle access to the underground car park but banned to the public from entering.
Mackey addresses the media after a minute’s silence was observed outside New Scotland Yard A fund to help Keith Palmer’s bereaved family has raised over 300,000 American tourist Kurt Cochran was on a tour of Europe with his wife when he was fatally injured during the atrocity Teacher and mum-of-two Aysha Frade died on Westminster Bridge during the atrocity Theresa May praises MP Tobias Ellwood who tried to save PC Keith Palmer after London terror attack on Westminster
The Sun can reveal how the left hand gate was open at the time to allow Acting Commissioner Mackey s official car out of the Palace of Westminster after he had attended a security meeting there. One source said : It was incredible timing and very bad luck that the gates were opened just at that moment.
He ran into New Palace Yard as the acting commissioner was sitting there in his car looking on.
He was then challenged by Pc Palmer and a colleague but two armed officers who were supposed to be there were not in position.
It is thought that their attention may have been diverted by the noise of the car crashing and people yelling in panic. Acting Commissioner Mackey is being treated as a significant witness and therefore cannot take any direct role in the investigation.
The Met s response to the attack is being handled by acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley and Assistant Commissioner Pat Gallan.
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An immediate security review carried out into the horror will be followed by a major scrutiny of protection at all Government buildings and potential targets. Questions were raised about the failure of armed police supposed to have been on guard at Carriage Gates to prevent Masood entering Parliament. Commons authorities are said to have been aware the Carriage Gates entrance was a “weak” spot following a previous security breach.
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