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Mary Berry

Photo of Mary Berry

Mary is a judge on BAFTA award winning The Great British Bake Off.

Photo of Mary Berry

Biography

Mary Berry CBE is the doyenne of family cookery, specialising in Aga cookery and cakes and desserts. Her television career has spanned more than six decades, and she has written over 80 best-selling cookery books, with many more still to come.

From an early age Mary knew she wanted to pursue a career in food, and at 18 she trained at the Bath College of Home Economics, followed by Paris Le Cordon Bleu. In the 1960’s Mary became Cookery Editor of Housewife and later Ideal Home Magazine and was a member of the Council of Food from Britain.

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In 1966 Mary published her first cookery book, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook. Her books have since sold over five million copies around the world. Mary has also written her autobiography, Recipe For Life, published by Michael Joseph in 2013. Mary Berry Cooks was published by BBC Books in February 2014 and entered the hardback non-fiction chart at number 1, remaining there for an incredible 11 weeks, and also reaching number 1 across all UK book sales by its 3rd week. Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites was published February 2015 and the latest title is Mary Berry Foolproof Cooking, published by BBC Books on 28th January 2016.

Initially beginning her broadcasting career on Judith Chalmers’ Afternoon Plus show in the 1970s, Mary then presented a regular cookery slot on BBC Radio 2’s Debbie Thrower Programme. She went on to host seven cookery series for Thames Television, as well as series’ for the BBC including Mary Berry at Home, and Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cakes. During this time Mary continued to host Aga cookery classes from her home in Buckinghamshire as well as raising her young family.

Currently Mary is a judge on BAFTA award winning The Great British Bake Off which moved from BBC2 to BBC1 for its 5th series, with viewing figures peaking at 10.3 million, some of the highest ratings across the BBC in 2014. Series 6 in 2015 peaked at 14 million, becoming the highest rating programme on UK television so far in 2015.

 

Mary is well known for other shows such as The Great Sport Relief Bake Off, Great British Food Revival (BBC2), Food & Drink, The One Show (BBC1) and on radio including the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, the Graham Norton Show (BBC Radio 2), and Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4). In January 2013 a two part documentary, The Mary Berry Story (BBC2), followed Mary as she shared memories from her childhood and early career, revisiting Bath and London. Most recently she has had success with her own series’ Mary Berry Cooks, and Mary Berry’s Absolute Christmas Favourites, both on BBC2 in 2014, and Mary Berry’s Absolute Favourites on BBC2 in May 2015. In 2016 her own series Mary Berry’s Foolproof Cooking secured 3 million viewers on BBC Two. In April 2014 the Mary Berry Bakes recipe app was launched for iPhone and iPad, and Mary has collaborated with Lakeland to produce her own cookware range, and has a beautiful collection of kitchen and homeware available through John Lewis and Sainsbury’s. In 2012 Mary was awarded a CBE for services to culinary arts, and in 2014 she received the Freedom of the City of Bath, where city officials said she had “always been an exemplary ambassador” for her home city, and was a deserving recipient of their highest and most prestigious award. In Autumn 2014 she came second in Radio Times ‘30 most influential females in broadcasting’ and won the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ award at the Specsavers National Book Awards, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Observer Food Monthly Awards 2015.

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