Saturday 10 December 2016

Mary Berry's most unforgettable Bake Off moments

Rebecca Hawkes

Published 22/09/2016 | 19:14

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are taking different paths (BBC/PA)
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are taking different paths (BBC/PA)

What will the Great British Bake Off be like without Mary Berry?

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As the news breaks that TV's favourite grandmother won't be following the show to Channel 4, and will instead remain loyal to the BBC, we list some of her most memorable moments.

1. When she discovered that a contestant had used shop-bought fondant

Remember that chilly touch of fear – that unbearable tension – we all felt when season five contestant Enwezor blithely announced he was using (horror of baking horrors) shop-bought fondant in his Space Adventure Moon biscuit sculpture? We all shuddered for him, knowing full well what was to come. Mary’s subsequent “fondant face” (think kindly 80-year-old transformed into Baselisk of death) has gone down in Bake off legend. Unsurprisingly, poor Enwezor departed that same week.

2. Her delighted reaction to Luis’s boozy doughnuts

The real way to win over Mary Berry? Booze, booze...and more booze. The baking superstar seemed rapturously happy back in season five, after she discovered that Luis’s rum-infused cocktail doughnuts (which came complete with little straws) were definitely not for teetotallers.

3. The stork jacket

When she donned an M&S stork print bomber jacket during Bake Off 2013, Berry created a fashion frenzy: viewers began frantically googling, discovered the item online... and ensured that it sold out before the show had finished airing.

A similar reaction occurred after she wore a striking Zara floral piece in 2012, which promptly began trending on Twitter.

4. When she cried at Nadiya’s victory

By the time the season six finale rolled round, we were all rooting for lovely, down-to-earth Nadiya Hussain, who combined a flair for flavour with some hilariously nervous facial expressions.

Her popularity was significant for many reasons, not least because of the fact that,  in a media landscape dominated by negative portrayals of Muslims, she was a glowing, beautifully human role model

But when her triumph was finally announced, the moment was rendered even more moving after viewers spotted a tear or two glistening in Berry's eyes.

Seeing the judge cry confirmed that Bake Off isn't just "a job" for Berry, but a passion.

5. When she discovered hemp

There was something charmingly innocent about Mary's encounter with this rather unusual baking ingredient in season four, after Howard Middleton decided to use it in a loaf.

"‘I know nothing about hemp. Is it grass?" she asked, while eagerly sniffing the flour.

6. Telling Paul off for dunking a biscuit

"We don't do that in the south, you know," noted a disapproving Berry,  after her fellow judge decided to plunge a jaffa cake into his tea during biscuit week.

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