Mary Berry to return as Bake Off judge – but there’s a catch

The queen of the Bake Off tent will judge the American version of the show


Mary Berry may have said “farewell to soggy bottoms” as she quit The Great British Bake Off, but the 81-year-old has revealed her plans to return to the Bake Off tent – this time in America.


Starting on 1st December, Berry will be appearing in The Great American Baking Show. But instead of having Paul Hollywood at her side to dole out intense glares and firm handshakes, she will be paired with pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini. And instead of Mel and Sue, the show will be hosted by My Big Fat Greek Wedding actress Nia Vardalos and her husband Ian Gomez.


Love Productions’ latest venture will see Berry and Iuzzini on a quest to find America’s best amateur baker. Ten contestants from across the United States will battle it out across eight episodes, featuring the familiar showstoppers, technical challenges and signature challenges. 

The season premiere will be two hours (two hours!) – but this is America so that’s probably at least an hour of adverts.

This will be Berry’s second season of the Bake Off in America, but for some months it didn’t look like it was going to happen. 

In May, the spin-off – originally titled The Great Holiday Baking Show – seemed likely to be cancelled after poor viewing figures. And then, of course, Berry quit GBBO when it moved to Channel 4, writing: “My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one.”

Berry’s attempt to crack America comes after Hollywood failed with CBS remake The American Baking Competition in 2013, which was cancelled due to poor ratings. 


The US version sadly won’t be screened in the UK. Not to worry, though: Berry will soon be back on BBC1, and she has also hinted at future plans with Mel and Sue. And then, of course, there’s the Christmas special. Cake all round!