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Mary Berry: My parents were not proud of me

Mary Berry’s choices did not please her parents (Matt Alexander/PA)
Mary Berry’s choices did not please her parents (Matt Alexander/PA)

Mary Berry has said she sensed “disappointment” in her parents instead of pride when her culinary career began.

The TV cook and food expert left her Bath home to pursue her ambitions in London and France.

Berry said her parents disapproved of her choices and believed she was to be “seen and not heard”.

The former Great British Bake Off judge spoke to BBC Good Food about her early experiences.

Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards
Mary Berry set her sights on London (Jeff Spicer/PA)

Asked if her parents were proud of her, she said: “No, not at all.

“Although they were pleased I did well at domestic science, and that I used to bring nice things home to eat.

“But it was a different era – we were almost ‘seen and not heard’. My parents weren’t involved with us, and I sensed their disappointment.”

Berry was born into an established Bath family, and her parents did not want her to move to London.

She was determined to make it in her own way, and took a job in the capital against their wishes.

She said: “I knew I wanted to go to London, I didn’t mind how hard I worked, and even though I didn’t have the backing of my parents, it was great.”

Berry went on to study at the French Le Cordon Bleu school, and took numerous jobs in the food industry before penning her first cookbook.

The full interview with Berry is available on the BBC Good Food website.

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