The Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry tells What’s on TV why she’s opening up her home and sharing top tips in her new BBC2 cookery series, Mary Berry Cooks (premieres this Monday)…

Your new six-part cookery is very different to Bake Off. Tell us about it…

“I share my favourite recipes. It’s the food I cook at home for family and friends. None of the recipes are too difficult, but they all have a wow factor to them, whether it’s supper, Sunday lunch or a posh dinner party. The ingredients I use are likely to be in your cupboard!”



As you’re cooking in your own home, is it a bit of a family affair?

“All the recipes are tested and tasted by my family. I’m lucky to have a family because they’re very rude you know! In this new series we make things from my new book Mary Berry Cooks. In the first programme we do a tea party and my grandchildren bake butterfly cakes. They were like little TV stars. They concentrated, were totally unaware of the cameras and were quite relaxed about it all!”



What makes this show different from other cookery programmes?

“I’m thrilled to bits to do family cooking for occasions. When you’ve got someone coming over, even just for a kitchen supper, you push the boat out, don’t you? I give tips and hints throughout the programme. I’d like people to see having really good food needn’t be difficult.”



You’re happy to share the trade secrets of your 50-year career?

“Chefs are brilliant, but sometimes they don’t give you the whole story. On this show we give you all the detail. Life is all about sharing. If we’re good at something, let’s pass it on. I love it when somebody gives me a little envelope with their granny’s fruitcake recipe or marmalade. It’s lovely to share and to give. We should all do it more!”



Now 78, how do your family feel about this new burst of success since Bake Off took off?

“My girls – my daughter and my daughter-in-law – they just love it! My husband just likes having me back home after I’m done. He doesn’t get too involved! I try to be home every night to cook us supper, it’s very important to me. I love doing Bake Off with Paul, Mel and Sue, they bring out the humour in me – we have lots of pranks. I’m glad you don’t see what goes on off camera!”