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

Closer (UK) - - Contents - By Vicki Power

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

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