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‘Great British Bake Off’ Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

Prue Leith1 has revealed she s been given 24/7 protection ahead of her debut on The Great British Bake Off2 .

The food critic and restaurateur was announced as Mary Berry3 s replacement on the show earlier this month, following its move to Channel 4.

But the 77-year-old says she was shocked by the level of security provided by Love Productions, who make the show, after it was confirmed she would be joining Paul Hollywood as a judge.

'Great British Bake Off' Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

David Levenson via Getty Images

Prue Leith

But when Prue returned to her home in the Cotswolds, she discovered she had been granted the security protection anyway.

'Great British Bake Off' Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Prue is set to replace Mary Berry on the ‘Bake Off’ judging panel.

Prue also revealed that Mary Berry has been in touch to reassure her not to worry about any threats.

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.

'Great British Bake Off' Host Prue Leith Given Full-Time Security Protection To Guard Her From Threats

Awakening via Getty Images

Prue also admitted she hadn t heard of new co-host Noel Fielding, who is replacing Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins with Sandi Toksvig. 456

The Great British Bake Off is expected to launch on Channel 4 later this year.

‘Great British Bake Off’: Where Are They Now?

Edd Kimber (winner, 2010)

Fresh from being crowned the winner of the first ever Bake Off , Ed quit his day job as a debt collector for Yorkshire Bank (which he hated) to follow his baking dream with a job in Raymond Blanc s restaurant Le Manoir as a pastry chef (what else?) . He s gone on to carve himself a career as a food writer with articles appearing in BBC Good Food magazine and on his blog . In 2011 he published his first cookbook, ran a pop-up bakery in Fortnum & Mason and is also the resident baker on The Alan Titchmarsh Show . Bake Off changed my life in the most amazing way .

It allowed me to follow my passion and fulfil my dreams in a way I never imagined, he said recently.

Mike Marsland via Getty Images


  1. ^ Prue Leith (
  2. ^ The Great British Bake Off (
  3. ^ Mary Berry (
  4. ^ Noel Fielding (
  5. ^ Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (
  6. ^ Sandi Toksvig (

Football manager job security at all-time low, Sky Sports study finds

Last Updated: 24/03/17 9:29am

How long do managers last at the top 92 clubs in England ? We’ve crunched the numbers to reveal the exact average in days… Job security for managers in England’s top four tiers is at an all-time low, a Sky Sports study has found. A remarkable 75 managers were sacked, quit or failed to last after temporary stints in charge last season – the highest total in English football history. In addition, the average tenure for a departing manager last term was an all-time low of just 423 days.

This season, 51 managers have been axed or walked already and the average tenure is just 477 days and, with over three months until July 1st, that number could still drop below that threshold to break a new record. In the first years after the Second World War, managers had an average tenure of more than seven years, with just 20 departing their roles during the 1946/47 season. But even as recently as the start of the Premier League era in 1992/93, managers could expect to be in charge for nearly three years, with just 25 coaches losing their jobs in the first Premier League season. For the study, Sky Sports recorded every manager who has lasted 35 days or more at a current top-four tier club since 1946/47 to work out how long the average boss keeps his job, with the help of Soccerbase.com1 data.

The red line shows how many managers have left a club every season since 1946/47, while the blue line shows the average tenure of departed managers


There have been a number of managerial departures this season which have highlighted the insecurity football managers face. Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri was sacked in February 2017, despite leading Leicester to a 5000-1 shock Premier League win last season, while Aitor Karanka – who led Middlesbrough to the top flight last term – left his post last week.

Aitor Karanka was sacked by Middlesbrough this month

Bob Bradley only lasted 85 days at Swansea before receiving his marching orders, while Walter Zenga (Wolves), Kenny Jackett (Rotherham), Alberto Cavasin, Andy Edwards (both Leyton Orient), Russell Slade (Coventry), Chris Brass (Bury), all lasted fewer than 100 days at the helm this term in the lower leagues. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is under pressure to step down after a string of poor results, but the Frenchman is unlikely to consider resignation lightly after more than 20 years in charge of the Gunners.

Arsenal fans hold up anti-Wenger signs after the match at West Brom


Wenger is England’s longest-serving, active manager and currently holds the 10th-longest reign in our study, which is nearly twice as long as the next longest active tenure, held by Paul Tisdale at Exeter (10 years, nine months). But neither Wenger or Tisdale come close to the all-time record set by Fred Everiss, who was in charge of West Brom between 1902 and 1948 – the longest tenure of any football manager in English history. Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26-and-a-half-year reign at Old Trafford was the third-longest in our list, ahead of another ex United boss Sir Matt Busby.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and keeper Peter Schmeichel with the trophy after a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in 1999

Football Manager Job Security At All-time Low, Sky Sports Study Finds


In terms of average tenures at clubs since 1946/47, Manchester United, boosted by Ferguson’s tenure, lead the pack with the average boss lasting 2,346 days. Arsenal have the second longest with 2,172 days, followed by Ipswich (2,007), West Ham (1,916), Liverpool (1,741) and Everton (1,473).

Relative Football League newcomers Morecambe (1,988) and AFC Wimbledon (1,790) also have high averages, due to their recent promotions from non league.

New Notts County manager Kevin Nolan

Football Manager Job Security At All-time Low, Sky Sports Study Finds Meanwhile, Notts County have had more managers than any other current top-four tier club over the last 70 years – appointed 48 managers for more than 35 days and averaging around 500 days at the helm each. Check out the table below to see how many managers your club has appointed…

Football Manager Job Security At All-time Low, Sky Sports Study Finds


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Inside the ‘Blackwater of Jihad’: The private security company training extremists in Syria

They wear the latest and most advanced body armour and helmets, camouflage gear and anti-ballistic sunglasses: the fashion statement favoured by frontline private security companies across the world s combat zones . But Malhama Tactical is not from the West like most of the others . Its fighters are in Syria1 training Islamists: a Blackwater 2of jihad who have found a new way of cashing in on the self-styled caliphate3 . Blackwater became the most high-profile of Western security contractors in Iraq, gaining notoriety as the most violent and aggressive of the corporate military firms that spotted a highly lucrative trade following the liberation of the country in 2003 . Such firms were largely immune from scrutiny or prosecution: that changed after a particularly bloody day in Baghdad.

One late morning in September in 2007, I watched as Blackwater s guards opened fire4 from their armoured cars into families out on a Sunday in a popular location, Nisoor Square: 17 civilians were killed and more than were 40 injured . Four of the guards were later convicted 5in connection with the deaths . Blackwater changed its name, first to Xe Services and then Academi and continues to receive US government contracts. Malhama, named for the Islamic equivalent to Armageddon, is unlikely to be called to legal account for atrocities in the anarchic maelstrom of Syria s civil war, although it is now firmly in the gunsight of powerful enemies . The small group, of about a dozen drawn mainly from Central Asia, has been an enthusiastic user of social media . At the end of last year it placed advertisements in Facebook looking for instructors who were prepared to constantly engage, develop and learn . The company s YouTube pages provide free guides ranging from weapons maintenance and laying ambushes to battlefield first aid.

The leader and founder of Malhala a firm which is fun and friendly according to its online brochures is an Uzbek using the nom de guerre Abu Rofiq who claims to have served in the VDV, a Russian military airborne unit . Although it was a commercial concern, Rofiq has stressed the religious aspect of its work meant helping oppressed Sunni Muslims militarily, beyond Syria . Preparing for Armageddon has taken the company into China, Burma, back to the former Soviet Asian republics and Russia itself. In China this means training Uighur separatists of the Turkistan Islamist Party . They are present in the Islamist ranks in Syria and Iraq in large numbers and it was an Uighur Isis recruit who carried out the New Year s Eve massacre6 in an Istanbul nightclub in January .

Chechen and other Caucasian groups have also been active in other fronts, carrying out attacks in Russia and states allied to the Kremlin in the region. It is such threats that are believed to have brought Abu Rofiq and his men to the attention of those around Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan . Rofiq was targeted in an air strike in Idlib last month in which his wife and young son were killed . His own fate remains unclear . There were reports that he too had died but Islamist fighters who worked with him deny this was the case and insist he survived.

Training and arming of the rebels had begun as a slow and often chaotic process in Syria . In the summer of 2012, with the protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad still in its early stages, I accompanied a group of opposition fighters, led by Abdul Haq, a 34-year-old mechanic calling himself a resistance commander, into Idlib. The 50 men did not have a single semi-automatic rifle between them . Instead they passed around 20 elderly hunting rifles, shotguns and handguns . At one point a Remington pump-action shotgun one of his men was firing simply fell apart in his hands, possibly due to metal fatigue . Other weapons in the armoury included a Soviet Star pistol, with the stamp of its place of manufacture CCCP , made in the USSR and a piece of British help for the revolution, a Webley revolver, circa 1930s.

Related video: Tales of trauma from Syria’s refugee children

As the uprising descended into a vicious bloodbath, the flow of arms into Syria from the international backers on both sides went up massively in quantity and quality . The regime received its supplies from Russia and Iran while its enemies were backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states . Some moderate opposition fighters trained and armed by the Americans in Jordan and Turkey surrendered with their weapons to extremist groups on crossing the border. Abu Rofiq is said to have seen the training opportunities for rebels after first going to Syria in 2013 . He began to bring in experienced fighters from the Caucasus before starting Malhama with a dozen others in the beginning of 2016 . The company has been working with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the new name taken by Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, as well as Ahrar al-Sham, a rebel group which had been backed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

There has been a strong presence of Islamists from the Caucasus in Syria for a while . They have built up a reputation as the fiercest and most dedicated of the foreign fighters . One of the most effective military chiefs of Isis, who played a key role in its early successes, was Abu Omar al-Shishani of Chechen and Georgian background . He was killed in July last year in a US airstrike in the town of Al-Shirkat in Iraq a significant loss, the Islamists acknowledged, to their leadership. Salah Abdulhamid Awad, from the city of Binesh, was trained by Malhama in Aleppo last year while fighting with al-Nusra .

He had joined the group, he claimed, because they were the best opponents of the Assad regime.

But no group really had good lessons, from good teachers, except when we had the Uzbeks from Malhama for a short time he said . They were all quite young, but they said they had been in the military with the Russians: they were good professionals and they had good weapons.

These also took part in some fighting, they were like advisers . We saw them in the battles in which Al-Assad and Minyan in Aleppo were captured . They were worried about being captured; they said that if the Russians caught them then they would surely be executed . We heard that their commander was killed in Idlib, but then we heard that he may be alive, I do not personally . But, whatever happened, I think Malhama will carry on, in Syria and other places. Awad s own fighting days, he maintained, were over for the time being .

He, too, had been in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in northern Syria, one dominated by al-Nusra . He had fled there from Aleppo just before the opposition-held part of the city fell to regime troops and their Russian and Iranian backers. But he had left after 10 days . It was not the bombing, we had worse in Aleppo, I could cope . But people need to have a break, to clear heads and decide how best the struggle against Bashar should continue, Awad reflected .

The foreigners, people like Malhama, can come and go, but we Syrians have to stay, we have to stay, and face the consequences of all that has happened.

Inside The 'Blackwater Of Jihad': The Private Security Company Training Extremists In SyriaReuse content7


  1. ^ Syria (
  2. ^ Blackwater (
  3. ^ caliphate (
  4. ^ I watched as Blackwater s guards opened fire (
  5. ^ later convicted (
  6. ^ New Year s Eve massacre (
  7. ^ Reuse content (