Mary Berry has some harsh advice for Channel 4’s Bake Off stars

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Kayleigh Dray
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When it was announced that The Great British Bake Off was moving to Channel 4 – without our beloved Mary Berry – we were understandably upset.

However the 81-year-old ‘Queen of Cakes’ has now admitted that, unlike Paul Hollywood, she was never actually asked to stay on as a GBBO judge.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, she explained that “no one was more surprised than me” when Bake Off left the BBC, but added that she avoided even being asked to join the show at its new home.

“I was never asked to go,” she said. “I avoided being asked. It was suggested what would happen if I did go to Channel 4, what I would get, the advantages.

“But I didn’t ever have a meeting with them. I’d made up my mind. To me, it’s an honour to be on the BBC. I was brought up on it.”

When asked if she and Hollywood had argued over his decision to remain with Bake Off, Berry remained coy in her reply.

“I would always stand by him,” she said. “Paul and I had our differences about what was important to us, but he is a brilliant bread-maker and I admired him a lot.”

She added: “It was the BBC’s programme, it grew there. So I decided to stay with the BBC, with Mel and Sue.”

However there are some benefits to Berry leaving Bake Off; namely, that she can finally reveal which aspects of the show she hated the most.

And, somewhat surprisingly, the talented baker has revealed that she wasn’t a fan of GBBO contestants breaking down into tears almost every episode.

Well, nobody likes a soggy bottom, we suppose.

“In life, you shouldn’t keep bursting into tears,” she said. “There are occasions where you want to cry your heart out, but not on television.

“If you do something that doesn’t work out, you have to gather yourself up and keep going.”

Earlier this year, Berry announced that she was quitting the Great British Bake Off when it moved to its new home on Channel 4 – and that her decision had been made out of loyalty to the BBC.

“My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one,” the 81-year-old said in a statement.

“What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent.

“I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision.”

Giedroyc and Perkins – aka Mel and Sue – also quit the show, insisting that they would not “follow the dough” to a rival channel.

Hollywood, however, has signed a three-year contract with Channel 4, rumoured to be worth £1 million.

Insisting his decision had nothing to do with the money involved, he later said that the show has “been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that – the bakers themselves, the bakes, the team that makes it, and of course the tent, the bunting, and who could forget… the squirrels”.

The show is confirmed to return to our screens this year – and applications are now being accepted online.

Images: Rex Pictures / Love Productions



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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.