She is the tequila slammer-drinking, bomber jacket-wearing grandmother everyone wishes they had.
Mary Berry turns 80 today, and while we wouldn’t dare risk making the Queen of Cakes a birthday sponge, we wanted to mark the occasion. So to celebrate, here’s the Mary Berry guide to keeping forever young…
The best of Bez
Just think how much has changed in Mary’s great gastronomic career. This 1976 clip, for example, has Mary preparing a mackerel fish paté for her guests. “10 pence a portion,” she cooes. “Jolly reasonable”.
Fast forward almost 40 years and she’s posing for an Instagram snap with YouTube vlogger Zoella. How does she even know what any of those words mean?
The cats out of the bag! I'm on the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief! I feel so honoured to have been asked to take part and be surrounded by such amazing and inspiring people for such a great cause. It also meant I got to bake cake & meet the queen herself Mary Berry! (Yes we are holding hands) The show is being aired on the 18th of Feb to raise money and awareness for Red Nose Day! Get baking yourselves to raise money too ? < a red nose haha
Naughty but nice
Happy birthday Bez x pic.twitter.com/e8P7CC4Bhm
— Paul Hollywood (@PaulHollywood) March 24, 2015
Paul Hollywood knows his Great British Bake Off co-star is not like other 80-year-olds. Just last week he had her up on the back of his Ducati motorbike (no pun intended).
I've got someone John Surtees could push to get her going … pic.twitter.com/9CRLjJrvBd
— Paul Hollywood (@PaulHollywood) March 16, 2015
Talking of innuendos, Bez is the best in the business when it comes to making innocent baking terms downright dirty. Just listen to what some of her Bake Off advice sounds like when it’s read by Hugh Jackman…
Her drinking prowess, meanwhile, would put most university freshers to shame. As well as clubbing trips to Ibiza, Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins revealed Mary’s fondness for tequila on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man last year.
“She is coming up for 80 and she is sprightly as a young gazelle and she will drink you under the table,” Perkins said. “We had a wrap party at the end of series four and she had never had a tequila slammer before and she took to it like a drunk duck to water.
“She did not want the salt though. She is a good girl.”
From floral blazer trailblazer to biker girl chic, Mary’s fashion sense is a long way from most nans’ tartan cardie combo. We tracked her year in Bake Off fashion in 2014, and there’s no doubt she’s now the hottest octogenarian on TV.
Oasis Tropical Forest Long Blazer, ASOS
Let her eat cake
A little indulgence keeps you feeling young – that’s the Mary Berry way. “It’s all about things in moderation,” she has said. “I do eat a good portion all the way through the Bake Off, because they’ve taken the trouble to make something, their parents are watching, and they want to see me have a proper slice.
“The next day I’m pretty careful. I do try to eat lots of salads and healthy foods. But cakes are healthy too, you just eat a thin slice.”
Hear that? CAKES ARE HEALTHY.
Yep, Mary’s come a long way since those grey 70s cooking shows making a mackerel vomcano with a blender. Happy birthday Mary – we’re still head over heels for you.