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Mary Berry is judging a brand new Bake Off series

Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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Mary Berry has decided to return as a Bake Off judge – just sadly not in the UK. The 81-year-old is set to appear in the American spin-off of the BBC hit programme, The Great American Baking Show, which will begin on ABC on Friday 2 December.

Based on the same format as its British counterpart, the new series will be hosted by My Big Fat Greek Wedding actress Nia Vardalos and her husband Ian Gomez, and every episode while include a signature, technical and showstopper challenge as contestants compete to be named Star Baker.

Mary Berry to judge Bake Off spin off, The Great American Baking Show

Mary Berry will judge Bake Off spin-off, The Great American Baking Show

A description of the show reads: "In a magical, warm yet utterly dramatic eight-part series, a selection of the nation's best amateur bakers will compete in a series of themed challenged and eliminations as they look to be crowned America's Best Amateur Baker."    

The first signature bake will see hopefuls tasked with making bundt cake inspired by winter flavours, followed by an apple almond cake in the Technical Challenge. For the Showstopper bake they will then have to construct multi-layered holiday-themed cakes.

The show won't be airing in the UK – but thankfully British fans haven't seen the last of Mary. She will return for the Great British Bake Off's two-part Christmas special in December, as well as fronting two new shows for the BBC: Mary Berry's Secrets From Britain's Great Houses, and cooking show Mary Berry Everyday.

Mary Berry to judge The Great American Baking Show

The 81-year-old announced her decision to leave GBBO in September

Mary announced her decision to step down from Great British Bake Off in September, following the news that it was moving from its home on the BBC over to Channel 4. "It has been a privilege and honour to be part of seven years of magic in a tent," she said in a statement. "My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision."

The show's popular hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins also decided to leave the hit baking programme – leaving Paul Hollywood the only one of the remaining four to sign up to the new series.  

"It's been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn't turn my back on all that," he said at the time. "So I am delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4. I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."

He later added: "I have loved every minute of my time working with Mary. I have learned so much from her and we are great friends inside and outside the tent. That will not change. Knowing her as well as I do, I am sure she has made the right decision for her. I will miss her."