Mary Berry: TV chef 'proud' to be made a dame

3 months ago 1011

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, Mary Berry with her husband Paul Hunnings after she was made a dame

TV chef Mary Berry has said she is "proud and honoured" to be made a Dame Commander for services to cooking, writing and baking.

Dame Mary was honoured on Wednesday by the Prince of Wales during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle.

As well as her 50-year culinary and broadcasting career, the honour also recognises her charity work.

She said she would celebrate by "going home for a sandwich and the children are coming tonight."

The 86-year-old former Bake Off judge recently had surgery after breaking her hip following a fall in the summer.

Yet she was able to attend the ceremony alongside husband Paul Hunnings, a retired antiquarian bookseller.

'Everybody has to cook'

Dame Mary previously baked alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the TV show A Berry Royal Christmas, praising the latter for being a "remarkable, enthusiastic cook".

Speaking after her latest royal engagement, she said: "I'm extremely proud and honoured. I just wish my parents were here - they're looking down and my children are quite excited.

"My aim is to pass on the skill that I love so much, because everybody has to cook each day. Whether it's a student or whatever it is, you've got to feed yourself so why not learn to do it well and enjoy it."

At the same ceremony, Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight - whose latest film, Spencer, explores three days in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales - was made a CBE.

Karen Gibson, founder and director of the Kingdom Choir that performed during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding, was also honoured with an MBE.

Image caption, Berry was honoured on Wednesday for services to cooking, writing and baking

After studying cooking in France and the UK, Dame Mary worked for a number of food industry bodies and wrote recipe pages of Housewife magazine.

Her first cookbook, The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook, was published in 1970 and she has gone on to write more than 50 others, selling millions of copies around the world.

She became a household name to a new generation of cake lovers thanks to her role as a judge on The Great British Bake Off, alongside Paul Hollywood, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

"I thoroughly enjoyed being on Bake Off, I was there seven years. We were a great team Paul Hollywood, Mel and Sue - we enjoyed every minute," she said.

In her latest upcoming BBC series, the veteran broadcaster will come to the rescue of novice cooks hoping to impress a loved one.

She revealed she loves it when she meets people in the supermarket who say they have successfully learned how to make her lemon drizzle cake or lasagne.

Aside from cooking, Dame Mary has committed herself to charity work down the years. Her youngest son William was killed in a car crash at the age of 19, after which she became a patron of Child Bereavement UK.

"I was lucky to have a very supportive family but there are many people who are not in that position," she said.

"Whether it's the siblings who are left or the husband or the wife, it's a hand to hold and to realise other people are in the same boat."

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