Dame Mary Berry reveals this cute hobby saved her life

Doctors warned the baking queen that she had to take up exercise after she broke her hip

Mary with the winning pudding
(Image credit: Getty)

Baking icon Dame Mary Berry has revealed that she's taken up a very sweet hobby, in a bid to get fit after she broke her hip.

The TV presenter, 87, told the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine that doctors warned her if she didn't start some form of exercise that she would 'probably be dead in four years.'

Mary, who stunned fans with this tropical dress at Wimbledon last month, went on to say that she took up croquet with her husband in a bid to regain her fitness.

Mary Berry Damehood

(Image credit: Jonathan Buckmaster - WPA Pool/Getty Image)

Dame Mary told the Mail, "My GP told me, 'You’ve two options. You could sit in a chair and do no exercise and quite probably be dead in four years, or you can set to, walk (uphill too!) and do everything you can, and it’ll take 18 months for a full recovery”.

The baking legend broke her hip last year while gardening, and after recovering from surgery she went on to explain her new hobby, "We’ve just taken up croquet. I’ve never played a sport with my husband before because he says I have no ball sense."

The former Bake Off presenter who helped announce the winning Jubilee pudding earlier this year also said, "My husband used to play rugby for Saracens, and tennis and squash, but now he’s 90 he can’t. But croquet is perfect for people our age. We play for two hours and he says he’s knackered at the end but after a bit of a zizz he perks up again."

Mary Berry

(Image credit: Karwai Tang / Contributor / Getty Images)

The legend of the culinary world, who presented Bake Off for six years, was finally given this honour at Windsor Castle last year. Prince Charles awarded her Dame Commander for her lifetime of cooking, writing and baking.

Despite leaving the Bake Off in 2016, Mary will present a new BBC baking show later this year - which shows her travelling to some of her favourite locations across the UK to meet others who come together over food, as part of family celebrations, to bring communities and generations together, and as the pinnacle of summer festivals and events.

Dame Mary Berry said about the show: “Sharing recipes is always an utter joy for me and this series is the ultimate guide, whether you are cooking for a crowd or just for two. I'm loving visiting some spectacular parts of the country at extraordinary events, gatherings and beautiful locations for this new series.

"I have always believed there is no better way to spend time with family and friends than over fresh home cooked food - and now more than ever that feels so important.”

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist - writing about the royals and celebrities for Woman & Home, fitness and beauty for the Evening Standard and how the world of work has changed due to the pandemic for the BBC. 


She also covers a variety of other subjects and loves interviewing leaders and innovators in the beauty, travel and wellness worlds for numerous UK and overseas publications. 


As a journalist, she has written thousands of profile pieces - interviewing CEOs, real-life case studies and celebrities - interviewing everyone from Emma Bunton to the founder of Headspace.