Mary Berry 'hates' Gordon Ramsay's programmes and 'violent' TV shows

One of Britain's best loved cooks Mary Berry has spoken out against "violent, cruel and noisy" programmes and has criticised her fellow TV chefs.

"I hate Gordon Ramsay's programmes: I don't know if he's been told it makes good television," she said ahead of the new series of The Great British Bake Off.

The 78-year-old admitted she had only become a fan of Jamie Oliver in recent years.


"James Oliver is a joy. I saw him yesterday and he agreed that when he was 23 he was irritating, bumptious and over the top, but he's made cooking fun."

It wasn't just cooking shows that came under fire from the 'Queen of Cakes'.

"I won't do Strictly or any of those ghastly reality programmes," she said. "I'm A Celebrity would be the end. It makes me shudder."

She explained the success of her and Paul Hollywood's BBC2 show, which returns to our screens for a fourth series on 20 August.

"The Great British Bake Off is family entertainment," she said in an interview with the Radio Times. "There aren't many programmes where all ages can sit and watch from beginning to end.

"Everything else is violent, cruel and noisy. We're educational without viewers realising it."

When questioned about her Bake Off co-judge Paul Hollywood's marriage breakdown, Mary said, "I wouldn't dream of commenting on his life. I'm immensely fond of him. He's my other half on television, but his life is his life.

"I respect Paul but get infuriated sometimes because he worries what will sell, whereas I'm fussy about taste. He's commercial."

Mary has written 70 cookery books, the first of which was published in 1966. Her Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook hit the shelves in the same year she married her husband Paul Hunnings.


Mary collecting her CBE in 2012 with husband Paul and children Tom and Annabel

Having published recipes and articles in newspapers and magazines, she was steadily becoming a household name. Mary said she initially planned to take her husband's surname.

"I told my boss I'd like to be Mary Hunnings and she said, "Don't be so stupid. You've only just started and the public is used to Mary Berry."

"I thought, 'Is that fair to my husband?" - stupid, pathetic person that I was.

"It was quite advanced in those days, but he didn't mind. He jokes he used to walk one step behind me before Bake Off, now it's two."

At 78 years old, Mary shows no sign of slowing down.

"I love being on stage. I'm a show–off, but only with things I do well,"she said. "I encourage women to get on, do their own thing, and enjoy it."

The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens on Tuesday 20 August at 8pm on BBC Two.

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