The Great British Bake Off ‘s former host, Mary Berry, is indeed a survivor. Despite the 82-year-old’s unexpected exit from the popular Brit show last year — with a cult-like following in the U.S. — she’s landed on her feet.
According to the BBC, Berry will be the lead judge on a new competitive cooking competition, Britain’s Best Cook. The series will air on BBC One, and Claudia Winkleman, a British TV-hosting veteran, will host.
"I am never more at home than when I have my judging hat on," said Berry in a press statement. "This series is going to encourage proper home cooking, which I have always championed and I cannot wait to start. Claudia, for me, is the icing on the cake." The series' premise is one we’ve seen before: nearly a dozen amateur cooks will be pitted against one another by executing a number of cooking challenges.
While the series’ title, Britain’s Best Cook, is tentative, it’s clear this time around Queen Berry’s judging expertise will no longer be limited to just baking. How the series will distinguish itself from the number of reality TV shows using a kitchen as ground zero is anyone’s guess. However, considering Berry’s former employer, The Great British Bake Off, built its premise on offering legitimate criticism where — gasp! — adversaries were more like supportive friends than enemies, here’s hoping the same tone carries over. The BBC also noted that this new series will, “will compete across eight episodes, serving meals that reflect both the modern and classic dishes of British home cooking.”
In the fall of last year, Bake Off suffered a major blow. Its even-tempered, kind-hearted judge, Berry, exited forever, leaving fans in the dust. Soon after, punny hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (widely known as Mel and Sue), were replaced. Little did we know the little lady with countless baking tricks in her arsenal also had a Checkmate up her sleeve. Then again, she did drop a couple hints we'd see her again.