25/04/2017 13:08 BST

'Great British Menu' Judge Andi Oliver Praises Her BBC Bosses For Increasing Diversity On Cookery Show

'I’m passionate about my subject, so I don’t think it is tokenism.'

New ‘Great British Menu’ judge Andi Oliver has praised her BBC bosses for increasing diversity on the cookery series. 

The Radio 4 ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ favourite is stepping in to replace Prue Leith, who has left to join Channel 4’s revamped ‘The Great British Bake Off’, in place of Mary Berry.

Andi Oliver is joining 'The Great British Menu'

Andi has since spoken out to insist her hiring was not an exercise in ‘tokenism’, even though she claims her race, age and gender played a part in her landing the role. 

Speaking to Radio Times, she said: “Well, one of the reasons (I was hired) is because I’m a black woman, and not only that, I’m a middle-aged black woman.

“So hooray for being a middle-aged woman on TV, for a start. But a middle-aged black woman on TV, double hooray!”

Andi is judging alongside Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton

She continued: “I know what I’m talking about, I’m passionate about my subject, so I don’t think it is tokenism. I’m there for a real reason and there for the whole picture. And I’m really happy about that.”

Andi will be joining fellow judges Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton on the 12th series of ‘The Great British Menu’, which will air on BBC Two later this summer. 

Prue had been with the series since it started in 2006, and her exit was confirmed earlier this month. 

Prue Leith has joined 'The Great British Bake Off'

She recently began work on the new series of ‘Bake Off’, alongside long-standing judge Paul Hollywood and new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding

Last week, it was confirmed BBC Two spin-off show ‘Bake Off: An Extra Slice’ will be making the move to Channel 4, along with presenter Jo Brand.

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