Mary Berrys several love affairs while dating future husband: Keeping options open

The One Show: Mary Berry recalls becoming a dame

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Mary returns to screens tonight for new BBC Two programme Love To Cook at 8pm. In the programme’s first episode Mary makes dishes from a range of ingredients she has grown. The much-loved celebrity chef cooks up a mouthwatering aubergine caponata, a vegetable noodle soup, a chicken and herb casserole and a sunshine cake.

Mary also shares excellent tips about how best to preserve and cook with herbs.

Away from the kitchen, the 86-year-old meets Taira, who grows an array of fruit and vegetables in her garden, having previously grown things for almost 20 years on a fourth floor balcony.

Mary also finds time to meet allotment legend Terry Walton in the jam-packed half-hour show.

The chef and baker, who holds national treasure status, has published more than 75 cookery books in her distinguished career, including the best-selling Baking Bible in 2009.

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She also shot to mainstream attention in 2010 as a judge on the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off, before it relocated to Channel 4 in 2016.

While the interest in Mary is usually around her baking, she has on occasion opened up about her surprising personal life.

Speaking on Sue Perkins’ An Hour or So With podcast in October 2019, Mary admitted she had dated multiple men at the same time, before her marriage to husband Paul.

She said: “Paul was a friend of my brother’s and I met him and we sort of did things together.

“But I had another boyfriend in Bath, and he was in London and I used to go home at the weekend.

“Paul was the London one and I had a Bath one.

“Actually there were several in Bath ‒ you keep your options open.”

Mary ultimately married Paul in 1966 and the couple remain together to this day, however the star baker admitted she did need some convincing.

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Paul, who at the time worked for sherry brand Harvey’s of Bristol, proposed to Mary three times before she agreed to marry.

In 2017, Mary and Paul recalled the proposal attempts on BBC programme Mary Berry Everyday, with Mary admitting that her husband was drunk the first time.

Mary told her husband: “I do remember the first proposal and I think you were drunk.”

Paul replied: “Well I might have been.

“It’s a big step ‒ you don’t go into something like that without a bit of fortification.”

Mary added: “I think you had too much and I can remember telling you you were drunk and thinking ‘I’m not going to have anything to do with this man’.

“But you came back.”

Paul added that Mary accepted his third request after he said to her: “I’m getting on in age, so either it’s yes or no.”

The couple had their wedding at Charlcombe Church near Mary parent’s home in Bath. 

Mary revealed on the programme that she wore a dress that cost just £5 and of course, the baking legend made her own cake.

Watch Love to Cook at 8pm on BBC Two tonight.

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