Mary Berry overcame the tragic family past and became a national treasure

Mary Berry is known for her sunny mood, but her ubiquitous smile masks the personal tragedy in her family.

The lady had to go through something no parent should ever have – the death of a child.

But how did Mary Berry’s son die?

Here is everything you need to know about the author, presenter, and chef.


The cast of Celebrity Best Home on BBC One (Image Credit: BBC One)

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How did Mary get famous?

Mary’s immense cooking knowledge and personable personality made her the obvious choice for television.

From the 1970s she hosted several TV series for BBC and Thames Television.

Her first self-titled TV show was Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cakes in 1994, and Mary Berry at Home in 1997.

Thanks to her role as a judge on the popular BBC show The Great British Bake Off, she became a household name for a new generation of cake lovers.

Mary became a GGBO judge along with celebrity chef Paul Hollywood on the show’s first season in 2010.

After announcing that the BBC’s popular baking contest was moving to Channel 4, she announced her decision to step down from the show in 2016.

Mary is reputedly worth £ 15 million – and we think she’s worth every penny!

What are your cooking certificates?

Mary’s “only accomplishment at school was just an O-level in the kitchen,” but that was enough.

Mary enjoyed home science in school and studied catering and shipping management in college.

She completed an education at the Bath School of Home Economics and then a classical education at the Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Mary took her great career break in the magazine world when she became a 1966 cookery writer for Housewife magazine.

In 1970 she came to Ideal Home and stayed there for three years.

Mary is the author of more than 80 cookbooks and they have sold over six million copies worldwide.

Her first book was the Hamlyn All Color Cookbook in 1970.

Due to her immense cooking knowledge, Mary hosted several TV series for the BBC and Thames Television.

She also has a range of salad dressings and sauces in her name, as well as baked goods.

Host of Celebrity Best Home Cook
Angela Hartnett, Chris Bavin, Mary Berry and Claudia Winkleman team up to create Celebrity Best Home Cook (Image Credit: BBC One)

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How did Mary Berry’s son die?

In 1989, Mary and her husband Paul lost their middle child, William, in a car accident.

He was only 19 years old.

The tragedy brought her and her husband closer together, and she believes her childhood battle with polio strengthened her as the person who helped her cope with William’s death.

Regarding her son’s death, she told the Daily Mail: “William is still a big part of our lives. I have his photo in the kitchen where I can look at it all the time.

“When I think of William it is with joy and happiness.

“I miss him immeasurably, but I know how lucky I was to have him for such a short time.

“I have two other children. How lucky am i? “

Mary left the audience in tears as she took her grandchildren to her dead son’s grave for Mary Berry Easter 2016.

Is mary married?

Mary is married to Paul John March Hunnings.

They married in 1966 – the swinging sixties!

Paul worked for Harvey’s of Bristol and sold antique books. Today he is retired.

Mary Berry and family
Mary Berry and her family attend the 2016 UK Premiere of The BFG at Odeon Leicester Square. But how did Mary Berry’s son die? (Credit: Splash)

How many children and grandchildren does she have?

Mary and her husband Paul have three children together – a daughter and two sons, including the late William.

She is the mother of Annabel Bosher, who is also her business partner.

Her remaining son, Tom, is a tree surgeon.

She has five grandchildren.

How old is mary berry

Mary Rosa Alleyne Berry was born on March 24, 1935 in Bath, Somerset.

She is currently 85 years old.


Mary on The Great British Bake Off jury (Image Credit: BBC One)

Does Mary have arthritis?

Mary developed polio at the age of 13 and spent three months in the hospital – partially isolated.

The condition left Mary’s left arm and hand weak, which is often mistaken for arthritis by television viewers.

Speaking to the Radio Times, she said, “I was very lucky. I only had it on my left side and I have a fun left hand.

“Everyone thinks I have arthritis.

“I look a little weird when I roll pastries, but I have no other trouble at all.”

Is Mary Berry a Lady?

Mary was awarded a CBE for Contribution to Culinary Art in 2012.

In 2020 she was named lady on the Queen’s Honor Roll for her birthday.

She was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her contributions to broadcasting, culinary arts and charity in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

Mary says she feels “lucky” to be able to teach others to cook during her career.

She says, “I am absolutely overwhelmed to receive this great honor.

“For most of my life, I have been fortunate to follow my passion of teaching cooking through books and media.”

She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Food Writers, an Honorary Degree from Bath Spa University, and an Award for Excellence at the 2014 Specsavers National Book Awards.

Celebrity Best Home Cook continues on BBC One on Tuesday January 27th at 9pm.

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