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Dame Mary Berry's Biography

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Mary Berry's Early Years

Mary Berry was born on 24 March 1935 in Bath, England.

When she was 13, Mary Berry fell ill with polio and spent three months in hospital.

She went to the Bath Royal High School, and then to the Bath School of Home Economics (part of Bath Spa University).

He first job was at the Bath electricity board showroom demonstrating electric ovens.

When she was 21, Mary Berry worked for the Dutch Dairy Bureau in London, and a year later she went to Paris to train at Le Cordon Bleu school.

She then became a recipe tester for the PR company Bensons, before moving into food journalism becoming cookery editor of Housewife magazine and then Ideal Home magazine.

Books and Television

Mary Berry then started to establish a public profile, writing a book about freezing for Marks & Spencer, and appearing on Afternoon Plus with Judith Chalmers.

From then on, she wrote numerous books and appeared regularly on television.

She also established a cookery school Aga Workshops, and together with her daughter Annabel launched Mary Berry's Salad Dressing.

She became best known as a judge on the hugely popular The Great British Bake Off, which launched on the BBC in 2010.

On 22 September 2016, Mary Berry announced that she would not be appearing on Bake Off when it moved to Channel Four in 2017 out of loyalty to the BBC.

In November 2016, the BBC revealed that Mary Berry would be hosting Mary Berry's Secrets From Britain's Great Houses on BBC One as well as a new six-part series on BBC Two, Mary Berry Everyday, revealing her cooking tips and short cuts.

On 1 August 2017, the BBC announced that it had commissioned a new cookery competition Britain's Best Home Cook with Mary Berry as one of the judges. The first episode was broadcast in May 2018.

In 2020, for the third series it became Celebrity Best Home Cook.

In 2019 BBC One commissioned a one-off special A Berry Royal Christmas, in which Mary Berry joined the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on various of their royal engagements.

In June 2021 BBC Two announced that it had commissioned a new series Mary Berry: Love to Cook.

In 2022, BBC One commissioned a programme with the working title Christmas With Mary Berry And Friends.

In November 2023, the BBC revealed that Dame Mary Berry was making a Christmas Special Mary Berry’s Highland Christmas for BBC One.


In 2012 she was made a CBE.

Her numerous accolades include being given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Food Writers in 2009, and the OFM (Observer Food Monthly) lifetime achievement award in 2015.

In 2020 she was made a Dame for services to broadcasting, the culinary arts and charity.

Mary Berry's Personal Life

She married Paul Hunnings, an antiquarian bookseller, in 1966, and they had three children: Thomas and Annabel; and William, who passed away in a car accident when he was just 19.

Mary Berry has written more than 70 food books.

Her mother Marjorie died at the age of 105.

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