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Mary Berry explains why she made her husband propose three times

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Kayleigh Dray
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And this week’s episode, similarly, caught viewers by surprise – albeit for a far more positive reason.



Taking a break from all that baking (hey – if you can’t take the heat, get outta the kitchen), Berry was joined by her husband, Paul Hunnings, for a well-deserved tea break.

Snuggled next to one another on the sofa, mugs in hand, they began flicking through their old wedding album – and Berry surprisingly let slip that it had taken Hunnings three attempts before she finally agreed to marry him.

“I do remember the first proposal,” she said, “and I think you were drunk.”

Mary Berry showed off her wedding album to viewers

Hunnings readily agreed, replying: “Well, I might have been. It’s a big step, and you don’t go into something like that without a bit of fortification.”

Berry, however, revealed that she was not a fan of his reliance on Dutch courage – ao much so that she rejected his proposal outright.

“I can remember telling you that you were drunk and thinking, ‘I’m not going to have anything to do with this man’. But you did come back.”



Unsurprisingly, the future Mr Berry’s confidence was shattered after his unsuccessful first proposal – and he came back even tipsier the second time around. And Mary, once again, turned him down flat.

It wasn’t until the third time, when Hunnings really felt as if he had nothing left to lose, that the Queen of Cakes finally accepted his marriage proposal.

“Third time I think I said – from memory – that ‘I can’t go on like this’,” he recalled. “I said, ‘I’m getting on in age, so either it’s yes or no.’”

Mary Berry turned Paul down twice before she agreed to marry him

The couple went on to tie the knot at Charlcombe Church in Bath – and they made sure to keep their 1966 nuptials as purse-friendly as possible. As they perused their wedding album on camera, Berry happily pointed out that she bagged her gown for the bargain price of a fiver.

And, of course, she baked her own wedding cake.

Viewers were delighted with the segment, with some insisting that watching Berry and her husband “is the TV we need but don’t deserve”.

And, ramping up that feel-good factor, Berry made it her mission to prove that you really don’t need to have a big, white, expensive wedding to secure your fairy-tale ending.



Explaining that Hunnings is her best friend, she confirmed that they have enjoyed a long and happy marriage – welcoming two sons and one daughter – and she doesn’t regret a single moment.

“I’m very happy and it really was for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and we’ve had some wonderful times,” she concluded fondly.

Images: BBC

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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