Mary Berry’s rival to Bake Off announced by BBC
TELEVISION’S biggest bunfight has begun… the BBC last night unveiled its new prime time cookery contest, a year after losing The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4.
Former Bake Off star Mary Berry, hailed ‘the queen of all judges’ by the Beeb, will star in Britain’s Best Cook, hosted by Claudia Winkleman.
Mary, 82 — who refused to jump ovens to C4 ‘out of loyalty’ — said: ‘I am never more at home than when I have my judging hat on. This series is going to encourage proper home cooking, which I always championed.’
She added: ‘Claudia for me is the icing on the cake.’
And Claudia, 45, gushed: ‘I am over the moon to be a part of this show. Am slightly obsessed with Mary so will follow her around with my own moussaka for most of the filming!’
When the BBC revealed stars’ salaries last month, Strictly Come Dancing’s Claudia was unveiled as its highest-paid female presenter, earning at least £450,000.
Mary was not on the list because she would have been paid by an independent production company.
During eight episodes of Britain’s Best Cook — which will have a still-to-be-revealed second judge — ten contestants will put their own spin on classic British dishes, from roast beef to chocolate pudding.
So there could still be the odd soggy bottom…
The competition is set to fill a hole in the BBC schedule after C4 poached the hit show for a reported £75million. Bake Off resumes later this year with Paul Hollywood, 51, and restaurateur Prue Leith, 77.
They will be joined by Noel Fielding, 44, and Sandi Toksvig, 59, taking over hosting duties from Mel Giedroyc, 49, and Sue Perkins, 47.
Author: Tom Stichbury