Mary Berry will always be known as the much-loved former co-host of The Great British Baking Show. Though she recently took a leave from the program, it can be said with certainty that the show enjoyed its overwhelmingly positive initial reception thanks to Mary’s warmth, knowledge, and sweet demeanor, a yin to Paul Hollywood’s yang, for sure.
Born in Bath, England in 1935, Berry’s upbringing was not an easy one. She contracted polio when she was 13 years old, causing her to spend months in the hospital. As a result, she was left with a slightly twisted spine and thinner left hand.
Excelling in school in all manners of domestic science, especially baking, she completed her formal education studying catering and management at Bath College of Domestic Science.
Mary Berry’s early career
Finding work right after she completed her education, Berry got her first job at an electrical appliance company, demonstrating the electric ovens. How? By baking cakes, of course! Mainly her exquisite signature Victoria sponge cake. She continued to study the art of baking at Le Cordon Bleu, the iconic French cooking school.
With all of this cooking experience, Berry enjoyed success as a food writer and editor for Housewife magazine, instructing both experienced and beginner cooks alike in the baking basics. Her success continued as an author, publishing a series of well-received cookbooks in the ’70s. In 1994, collaborating with her daughter Annabel, Berry created her own line of signature products including sauces and salad dressings. She became a household name and standard-bearer over the years.
In 2010, Mary Berry appeared on The Great British Bake Off as one of the original judges. The show’s format was straightforward — contestants took part in a weekly series of challenges in order to wow the judges. The successful contestants moved ahead to the following week with the ultimate honor of being crowned Britain’s best amateur baker.
The show was surprisingly intense but fun, and Berry quickly became the fan-favorite judge. Her wry humor, honest yet kind appraisals, and top-notch kitchen advice not only provided excellent entertainment but helped numerous viewers perfect their baking game.
She appeared on the show until 2016, when she decided to move on to other projects. Following her time on the show, she appeared as a judge on The Great Holiday Baking Show and produced a six-episode series called Mary Berry Everyday, a show centered on her favorite family and special occasion recipes.
What is Mary Berry’s net worth?
Berry has kept busy after her steady program work. Recently, the 84-year-old and ambassador for the Royal Horticultural Society, joined the Duchess of Cambridge in opening a “Back to Nature” play garden in Sussex, England.
She attributes her good health to good genes and old-fashioned discipline. As Berry shared with Financial Times, “My mother was 105 [when she died] and played bridge until she was 104…I’ve got energy. I can be back at 11 o’clock at night and I’ll be up at six in the morning. I am lucky. I do plan everything I do. I put my clothes out the night before. I make a list. I had two thank-you letters I had to write last night that I did, though I didn’t feel like it. I have a discipline — I like to grasp the nettle and get it done.”
And grasp the nettle, she has. From her work on the popular program, Mary earned $112,000 per series. Her net worth is estimated at over $18 million, which she has gathered from her work on television and her cookbooks.
Clearly, Berry is not slowing down any time soon. Something worth celebrating, perhaps with a slice of cake!
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