Mary Berry 'avoided' talks with Channel 4
Mary Berry "avoided" talks with Channel 4 about moving to the broadcaster along with 'The Great British Bake Off'
Mary Berry refused to have a meeting with Channel 4 about her future on 'The Great British Bake Off'.
The 81-year-old baking legend stepped down as a judge on the popular cooking show after Channel 4 snatched the rights to the series from the BBC in a mega-money deal last year and, although bosses were determined to keep her and her co-judge Paul Hollywood during the shift, she "avoided" having a meeting with the broadcaster because she'd already decided she wanted to bow out.
Asked if she was tempted to move with the show, Mary told The Radio Times magazine: "Well, I avoided being asked. It was suggested what would happen if I did go to Channel 4; what I would get, the advantages. But I didn't ever have a meeting with them. I'd made up my mind. To me it's an honour to be on the BBC. I was brought up on it."
Although she walked away out of "loyalty" to the BBC, 50-year-old silver fox Paul came under fire when he decided to accept an eye-watering sum to move across to Channel 4 with the show.
She explained: "I would always stand by him. Paul and I had our differences about what was important to us but he is a brilliant bread-maker and I admired him a lot."
Bosses are now on a frantic hunt to find a replacement for Mary - who had been on the programme since it first hit screens on the BBC in 2010 - and have their eye on restaurateur Prue Leith.
The 76-year-old food critic has been having discussions with bosses but believes there is one other person that could stop her from landing the judging job when the new series airs later this year.
Prue said: "I'm certainly one of the runners. I can wish. I can dream. I've had two auditions with them and lots of meetings. So I mean I think I'm close but I know there are two people in the running. One other person. Of course I'd love to do it. Who wouldn't want to do it? I've known Mary for years and she loved it."