Celebrity chef Mary Berry, star of the popular Great British Bake Off series, has denied ever having been approached by Channel 4 to continue as the formats figurehead – but had decided to remain loyal to the BBC in any case.
Channel Four snatched the rights to the hit programme last year in a major blow to the BBC, recruiting restaurateur and writer Prue Leith to fill Berry’s shoes when it airs later in the year.
Revealing all to the Radio Times Berry said: “I was never asked to go. Well, 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.”
Berry’s loyalty to the BBC has paid off with the public broadcaster commissioning the cook to front two brand new shows; Mary Berry’s Everyday on BBC2 and Mary Berry’s Secrets from Britain’s Great Houses.
Berry’s experience differs markedly to that of her co-star Paul Hollywood who was encouraged to make the jump with a £1.2m pay packet over three years, making him the sole member of the original presenting lineup to migrate three channels up.