The Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry has condemned much of TV for being ‘violent and cruel’ and revealed that she ‘hates’ Gordon Ramsay’s shows.
The 78-year-old, who has published 70 cookery books, returns with baker Paul Hollywood to front the fourth series of the unlikely culinary hit later this month.
She criticised ‘ghastly’ reality programmes and boasted that unlike other TV shows, Bake Off can be watched by young and old.
“The Great British Bake Off is family entertainment. There aren’t many programmes where all ages can sit and watch from beginning to end. Everything else is violent, cruel and noisy,” she told the Radio Times.
“We’re educational without viewers realising it. I hate Gordon Ramsay’s programmes: I don’t know if he’s been told it makes good television,” she said of the TV chef.
While she made clear that she disapproves of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares star Ramsay’s shows, Berry did praise Jamie Oliver saying: “James (sic) 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.”
Mary, whose Great British Bake Off co-star Paul is a fan of Strictly Come Dancing, vowed never to sign up for the BBC One ballroom dancing show.
“I love being on stage. I’m a show-off, but only with things I do well,” she said. “I won’t do Strictly or any of those ghastly reality programmes. I’m A Celebrity would be the end. It makes me shudder.”
Mary caused a stir earlier this year when she was quoted as saying ‘feminism is a dirty word’. But the cookery writer told the Radio Times she was ‘stitched up’, saying: “I never talk about feminism because I get muddled.”
She also denied reports that when she heard about Paul’s romantic troubles, she said “boys will be boys”.
“I wouldn’t dream of commenting on his life,” she said. “I’m immensely fond of him. He’s my other half on television, but his life is his life.”
Mary said she did not take her husband’s name on marriage after her boss told her it would be foolish to jeopardise losing the reputation that she had already built up. She said of her husband: “He jokes he used to walk one step behind me before Bake Off, now it’s two. He hates the limelight. He’s been to the show once, but won’t go again.”
She said of her TV success: “I had no lessons in how to be more dynamic. I’m not conscious of being an inspiration to women because I love doing it and I’m learning all the time.”