Despite turning 80 on Tuesday, Mary Berry is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the cookery writer – who boasts 70 cookbooks and has a new TV show and cookbook Absolute Favourites out now, as well as being a judge of The Great British Bake Off – has said that appearing on the nation's most popular baking programme is a "doddle".
"The Bake Off for me is an absolute doddle – I know my subject, I know about cakes," she told The Telegraph at the newspaper's reader event just days ahead of her birthday.
"My aim is to get everyone in Britain enjoying baking as much as I do."
The baking queen went on to speak of her rapport with fellow judge and bread expert Paul Hollywood, saying that the 49-year-old calls her his "mother".
"We banter. I respect him on bread, he respects me on cake. He calls me his mother and if he can drop me in it he will, but I have got very good ways of paying him back," she joked.
When it comes to judging, Mary said that flavour is paramount. "Taste to me is very important. You may see a magnificent cake, but you don’t taste it. If it is as dry as old boots, or not done in the middle... I'll find out."
The Bake Off judge is clearly a favourite with the show's contestants, too. Former baker hopeful Ruth Clemens, who appeared in the BBC1 show back in 2010, honoured the judge with an eight-tiered birthday cake.
Each tier of the one-off creation represented a decade from Mary's life, highlighting a cake trend from that time.
The GBBO runner-up posted a picture of the results of 28 hours of hard work on Instagram. "In honour of Mary Berry's 80th Birthday today - my cake collaboration with Stork! 8 tiers celebrating each decade of Mary's life from the 1940's to the 2010's. Weighing a huge 16.5kg and including a Piñata cake, Victoria Sponge and Gin lemon and elderflower drizzle to name but a few! Happy 80th Birthday Mary Xx," she wrote alongside the snap.