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Mary Berry Reveals She Was 'Never Asked To Join The Great British Bake Off' On Channel 4

'I avoided it.'

21/02/2017 06:43 | Updated 21 February 2017

Despite the gulp in her throat when Nadiya Hussain won ‘The Great British Bake Off’ the year before last, the show’s former judge Mary Berry doesn’t really have time for the tears shed by participants in this, or any other TV contest.

Mary, set to debut her new cookery show on the BBC following her decision not to ‘go with the dough’ to Channel 4, tells next week’s Radio Times: “In life you shouldn’t keep bursting into tears. There are occasions when you want to cry your heart out, but not on a television programme. If you do something that doesn’t work out, you have to gather yourself up and keep going.”

BBC
Mary Berry is a great believer in the benefits of the stiff upper lip

There should be fewer occasions to weep in her new show, ‘Mary Berry Everyday’, which Mary will be presenting on BBC2, having decided not to follow ‘The Great British Bake Off’ to its new home on Channel 4. 

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

And Mary adds that she was never made an offer by Channel 4, once she’d made it clear she wasn’t for persuading:

“I was never asked to go. 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.” 

BBC
However, Nadiya is not...

In the interview, Mary also reveals she turned down her husband’s first proposal, and his second, because he had been drinking when he asked for her hand in marriage. 

Her husband Paul explains his imbibed state: “It’s a big step, you need a bit of fortification.”

Mary adds that his third attempt was more successful, on a bench in London’s Hyde Park, and the couple have now been married for 50 years.

You can read the full interview with Mary Berry in next week’s Radio Times, on sale now. 

  • Jo Brand
    Barcroft Media via Getty Images
    The obvious choice - Jo fits in well with the 'Bake Off' brand (IF YOU'LL PARDON THE PUN) having hosted spin-off show extra slice for the past three years.

    She was also named the bookies' favourite, more or less as soon as Mel and Sue announced they were stepping down.
  • Davina McCall
    Mike Marsland via Getty Images
    Channel 4 and Davina go way back, with 'Big Brother', 'The Million Pound Drop' and 'The Jump' all among the projects she's worked with on C4 in the past.

    On Twitter, hers is the name we keep seeing crop up time and time again, either from people crying out for her to get the job, or pleading with Channel 4 not to give it to her.
  • Alan Carr
    Dave J Hogan via Getty Images
    Another of Channel 4's go-tos, Alan at the helm of 'Bake Off' would be a complete change in direction for the show, with his energy and buoyant enthusiasm contrasting heavily with Mel and Sue's more subdued and laidback approach to presenting.
  • Nadiya Hussain and Tamal Ray
    BBC
    Reigning champ Nadiya has already forged a successful career as a TV personality for herself, and it didn't even take her a year after she won, so putting her in charge might seem like a natural progression.

    In our opinion, it would be a bit too obvious, though, but we'd definitely be in favour of her forming a new double act with runner-up Tamal, with whom she got along like a house on fire in their days on 'GBBO'.
  • John Whaite
    Steve MeddleITVRexShutterstock
    That said, John Whaite has always held a special place in 'Bake Off' fans' hearts since his victory in the third season.

    Like Nadiya, he too has managed to bag himself a career in TV, so we wouldn't be surprised if the offer fell at his feet either.
  • Olly Murs and Caroline Flack
    Doug Peters/Doug Peters
    'Ready... set... BAKE... no wait... erm... not yet, don't bake yet. OH WAIT. No, do bake. So yeah... bake. Sorry about that.'
  • Julian Clary
    Roberto Ricciuti via Getty Images
    He might seem like a bit of a left-of-field choice for the gig, but when you think about it, he's a perfect fit for 'Bake Off'.

    Julian is the undisputed king of innuendo, and his soft-spoken style lends itself perfectly to the 'Bake Off' tent.

    He's also become a dab hand at light entertainment since his 'CBB' days, appearing on the panel of 'Your Face Sounds Familiar', as well as fronting 'Nature Nuts' and appearing on 'Give A Dog A Home'.
  • Geri Horner
    Doug Peters/Doug Peters
    Anyone who's been keeping an eye on Geri's Instagram page will know she's become a baking devotee since her winning stint on celebrity 'Bake Off', and this video of her interviewing Avril Lavigne proves she's certainly got a unique interviewing style.

    Hmmm.... maybe not.
  • Emma Willis
    Karwai Tang via Getty Images
    Another star whose name has repeatedly been cropping up.

    Emma must be so stressed out interviewing the stars of 'Celebrity Big Brother' twice a year that we'd be quite happy for her to land a presenting gig that's a bit more... calming.
  • Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
    Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images
    OH BUT DON'T YOU SEE? They aren't doing it. And they felt the need to tell us this in one the least funny celebrity 'pranks' in recent memory, at the height of 'Bake Off' mania.
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