Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith says the show is not concerned with gender politics or political correctness.
The veteran chef, restaurateur and expert judge on the Channel 4 show, said nationality, skin colour and sexual orientation do not come into consideration on the hugely popular programme.
Leith, 78, speaking at the National Book Awards following her nomination for the Food And Drink book of the year, maintained that the show does not deliberately seek to demonstrate diversity.
She said: “The main criteria for getting onto Bake Off is nothing to do with all that political correctness, it’s how good a baker you are.
“They don’t even think of gender, or sexual orientation, or nationality, or colour of skin or anything until they get right to the end.
“There are thousands and thousands of people, by the time it gets down to 200 you are bound to have a mix of British society. And you will have equally good bakers. So then they start worrying about how good they are on television, and all that.
“It’s a baking show, it’s not about gender politics or anything.”
Leith lost out on a National Book Award for her work, Prue, but said she is delighted to find that she now has an entirely new audience thanks to her work on Bake Off.
She said: “What has been fascinating at my age is to have a whole new lease of life, and a whole new audience. They’re quite young. I’m very grateful.”
The presenter said her book contains recipes she has stolen from fellow Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood.