Mary Berry has said she will keep working with The Great British Bake Off presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins after this year’s final, and joked they could swap baking for gardening.
Berry told Chris Evans on Radio 2 on Wednesday morning that no decisions had been made but that the trio “will do something because we’re good pals”.
Finalists Andrew Smyth, Jane Beedle and Candice Brown will compete on Wednesday evening for the seventh Bake Off crown, and Berry said the pressure on the last instalment of the series made it the “most difficult” yet.
“It really is the most difficult we’ve ever had, because you know, [it is] series seven and the showstopper is … we are wanting sheer perfection and they will be very nervous because they have watched every series.”
Giedroyc and Perkins said last month they wouldn’t “follow the dough” whenBake Off moves to Channel 4 as part of a £75m three-year deal. Berry swiftly followed suit, with only her fellow judge Paul Hollywood deciding stay with the programme when it moves to the commercial broadcaster.
Channel 4 has since faced criticism for failing to make sure the show’s top talent was signed up before agreeing the deal. The BBC is thought to be considering options to replace Bake Off with a show starring Berry, Giedroyc and Perkins, which could launch before Channel 4 gets its version off the ground.
Berry told Evans she had gone with her “gut feeling” in making the decision to stay with the BBC. “I made it straight away for myself, having discussed it with my family and others. I’m very happy I’ve stayed with the BBC. Everything I’ve done has been with the BBC and I wanted to stay with them.”
“I’m sure the programme will go on to be a little bit different, but it will still be wonderful.”
Berry said of Perkins and Giedroyc: “We have made no decisions whatsoever, we haven’t actually all three got together, but we will do something because we’re good pals, and who knows what it would be?
“Well, it may not be baking, you never know, it could be gardening. I’m a very keen gardener you know.”
Wedneday evening’s final will see Rolls-Royce aerospace engineer Smyth, garden designer Beedle and PE teacher Brown face some of the toughest baking challenges ever set on the show, including producing a British classic without measurements, and tackling the most complex showstopper seen on the show.
Last year’s final, which was won by Nadiya Hussain, was the most-watched programme of the year with more than 13 million viewers.
Hussain was tipped as a possible judge or presenter for Channel 4’s Bake Off until she released a statement last month saying she had agreed a deal to make the BBC her “home” and develop new projects.