Mary Berry: “I’d never have Botox – I’m not that vain”
Cooking legend Mary Berry tells Closer why she’s shunned plastic surgery and how she wants to keep in touch with former co-star Paul Hollywood
With her bright, twinkly eyes and her petite figure, Mary Berry looks amazing for her 82 years and not remotely worried about the wrinkles that appear when she smiles.
Domestic goddess Mary confesses to Closer that she and her long-term assistant, Lucy, like chatting about which celebrities have had cosmetic procedures.
“If I see someone looking too perfect, I’ll say to Lucy, ‘She used to have wrinkles right here,’ and she’ll say, ‘She’s had this done or that done’,” says Mary. “We always gossip about who’s had what done and it’s fun.”
Not that Mary would consider having needles stuck in her own face.
She laughs, “It would never enter my head to have Botox! I’m quite happy with what I’ve got. You can’t roll back the years anyway.
“I did have my varicose veins blasted because I had problems with my feet, and my cataracts done, but it wasn’t for vanity. I can’t see a reason for plastic surgery. I guess I’m not that vain. I want to make the most of what I’ve got, but I’m lucky enough that I can buy nice clothes – I wear a lot of cashmere jumpers because I really feel the cold – but I certainly don’t want to have Botox.”
She adds, “I wouldn’t want to do anything to my face or get a gastric band – I’ll just keep control of what I eat, instead. If I need to lose weight I just eat less.’
When Mary was tasting 36 cakes a day while working on Bake Off, she used to fill up on soup and salads on non-filming days to keep her trim figure.
She’s here to chat about her new book, a collection of all the clever household tips she’s learned over her six decades as a cook and housewifery expert. For example, she boils a kettle and holds her black boots over the steam to revive the matted suede, and glues jugs back together to use as vases.
“Maybe it was growing up during the war, when you had to make do and mend, but I don’t like throwing things away when they can be fixed,” says Mary. “So I put all those tips I’ve learned in a book.” Mary admits she has been watching the new Channel 4 version of Bake Off and is a big fan of Prue Leith, whom she’s known for years, but she hasn’t seen Paul Hollywood for a while.
“I adore Paul, but he’s been busy doing his car shows and our paths haven’t crossed,” says Mary. “I think Bake Off will keep going because the format is so good, there’s no bad language and it encourages people.”
Alongside her latest book, Mary’s showing no signs of slowing down. She’s busy filming two new series for BBC1, Secrets From Britain’s Great Houses, and the upcoming Britain’s Best Cook, presented by Claudia Winkleman.
She smiles, “I chose her, but we’re still in the early stages and haven’t even decided who the other judge will be yet.”
When Mary gets a rare free moment, she enjoys a spot of telly at her home in Buckinghamshire with husband Paul.
“I’m pathetic – I just watch things I know I’ll enjoy like Call The Midwife and Antiques Roadshow,” says Mary. “I hate seeing sex and violence in dramas – I don’t watch shows like that, but obviously someone must like them. I love Strictly, but I only ever watch half an episode while I’m clearing up dinner. Then I go and sit with my husband and I can’t finish the show then because he thinks it’s dreadful.”
● Mary’s Household Tips And Tricks is published by Michael Joseph, £20
She’s filming with Claudia
The cook has a soft spot for Paul