When we met Mary Berry for our cover interview, she did not disappoint. In person, she’s just as kind and wise and twinkly as she is when she appears on television – and even though there are no soggy-bottom innuendoes, her fabulously cheeky wink made an appearance during our interview.
So what did Mary have to say for our April issue? The cook and television presenter told us all about ageless ambition, being a hands-on granny, and her struggle with being a thoroughly modern mother…
Like many of us, Mary admits the constant struggle of being a working mum back when her children were growing up. She said, “I was a working mum when there weren’t many working mums. There was no maternity leave – if I didn’t go back immediately, my job would have gone. Everyone wanted to be a cookery editor. It wasn’t easy, but I’m very glad I did.”
And the fabulous TV personality said that like us all, she felt massive amounts of guilt over having to go back to work so soon. She said, “When the children were young, I did feel very guilty though. So I reckon I was not the best mum.”
Mary also opened up about the pain of losing one of her children so young. Her son, William, died in 1989 aged 19 in a car accident, whilst on visit home from University. But she spoke of the strength of coming together as a family in a terrible time, saying, “Losing a child either brings a family closer or it detaches it. We were very fortunate in that it brought us closer. It was so dreadful but I still had Paul (Mary’s husband), my rock, the person I tell everything to.”
Mary also took part in an exclusive video for w&h, about what she would tell her younger self if she had the chance. So what advice would Mary offer up to the Mary of 30 years ago? One piece of sage wisdom she’d like to impart, is that no good decisions are ever made at night. She said, “Sleep on it. You are much more calm the next day, and the decision will be right.”
And one of the things that the cook always makes sure to do – and wishes she had done before – is to keep her friends close. She admitted that it’s always worth going the extra mile for the ones you love, saying “If somebody says to you, ‘I enjoyed that apple pie you made’, when they come round in a year or six months time, give it to them again, they’ll enjoy it twice as much.” Can we be Mary Berry’s friend please?
So what else did Mary have to say in our cover interview? Find out in w&h’s April issue, out now. Also, see our exclusive video of the Five Things Mary Wish She Knew When She Was Younger above.