Sunday 17 December 2017

Mary Berry hits back at critics after giving ham hock to dog

Mary Berry attends the 42nd Broadcasting Press Guild awards
Mary Berry attends the 42nd Broadcasting Press Guild awards
Mark Rylance won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars

Mary Berry has responded to the criticism sparked by her suggestion that cooked bones can be fed to dogs, saying "it was a ham hock".

The Great British Bake Off judge was speaking at the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) awards where the BBC One series picked up the accolade for best entertainment or factual entertainment show.

After cooking a ham hock dish on Monday's episode of Foolproof Cooking, the Bath-born star said: "You're left with the bone there, and I know who will like that," before an image of her black Labrador was shown on screen.

Speaking at the BPG awards on Friday, she said: "As far as I know, and I will check it with a vet, if you have a big bone - I had a ham hock ... it's perfectly safe to give to a dog."

Berry insisted she would "never" feed a dog a smaller bone, such as one from a chicken or a pheasant, and added: "There are no splinters in a great big bone.

"You can go into a pet shop and buy big bones ... I will be corrected, but that's as far as I know."

On a less controversial topic, Berry teased the forthcoming instalment of Bake Off, promising fans an "even better" viewing experience following "an enormous response".

"The seventh series is going to be even better. We want each one to be very individual," she said. "We've had an enormous response and we've plenty of people to choose from.

"I'm extremely proud to think that this show has got the whole family involved."

The BPG awards, given only for work commissioned in the UK and voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio, also saw Oscar winner Mark Rylance named best actor for his role in Wolf Hall.

The BBC Two production also won the award for best drama series.

"We needed someone like Mark who can convey so much without words," said writer Peter Straughan, who adapted Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.

On the subject of series two, director Peter Kosminsky said: "It's based on a novel and the novel isn't written yet. Hilary's writing it. The expectation is it will be finished towards the end of this year. We have the rights and we're eager to do it."

Channel 4 comedy Catastrophe walked away with two honours. The series was voted best comedy and its writers Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan won the BPG award for best writers.

Asked about a third series, American-born Delaney said: "We want to make more. We made (series) one and two back to back without a break in the middle so we're just taking a second to breathe and collect ourselves."

After talking about how "ecstatic" he was about Catastrophe's double win, the comedian joked: "If I get certain awards, I'll be able to get a better visa!"

The breakthrough award, for someone who attained a new level of success in 2015, went to Aidan Turner for his roles in BBC One dramas And Then There Were None and Poldark.

Best single drama was won by BBC One's adaptation of JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls and best actress went to Suranne Jones for Doctor Foster.

The BPG awards, sponsored by Sky's streaming service NOW TV and held at London's Theatre Royal on Friday, also presented The Harvey Lee award for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting to John Lloyd.

The 64-year-old comedy writer, producer and presenter has created many of Britain's most enduring comedy series on radio and television, including The News Quiz, To The Manor Born, Not The Nine O'Clock News, Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI.

Press Association

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