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Mary Berry was attacked by bed bugs in a £25-a-night hostel while filming Great British Bake Off

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Mary Berry was attacked by bed bugs after BBC put her up in a £25-a-night youth hostel while filming The Great British Bake Off

  • The TV presenter, 86, was booked into a £25-a-night hostel during the early days of the series where she was exposed to the insects who feed on human blood
  • Speaking to the Full Disclosure podcast, Sue Perkins told how the show is seen as the huge success it is now, but the beginning stages were quite different 
  • She said: ‘We were there at its inception, when Barry’s burger vans were the in-house catering, when we were in a youth hostel at £25 a night — and Mary Berry got bed bugs’
  • Mary turned down a huge pay rise to stay with the baking show after it switched networks from BBC One to Channel 4 after seven years 










Mary Berry was attacked by bed bugs after being put up in budget accommodation by the BBC while taking part in The Great British Bake Off.

The TV presenter, 86, was booked into a £25-a-night hostel during the early days of the series where she was exposed to the insects who feed on human blood. 

Speaking to the Full Disclosure podcast, Sue Perkins told how the show is seen as the huge success it is now, but the beginning stages were quite different.  

Ouch: Mary Berry was attacked by bed bugs after being put up in budget accommodation by the BBC while taking part in The Great British Bake Off

Ouch: Mary Berry was attacked by bed bugs after being put up in budget accommodation by the BBC while taking part in The Great British Bake Off

She said: ‘Bake Off can only be seen now through the prism of huge success.

‘But we were there at its inception, when Barry’s burger vans were the in-house catering, when we were in a youth hostel at £25 a night — and Mary Berry got bed bugs.

‘We were a travelling show and the team had to put the tent up. But it evolved hugely from the intense documentary about foodstuffs into the beloved programme it is now.

‘We had a make-up artist who painted a mulberry, purple sort of colour lipstick on me in one series.

Show: The TV presenter, 86, was booked into a £25-a-night hostel during the early days of the series where she was exposed to the insects who feed on human blood

Show: The TV presenter, 86, was booked into a £25-a-night hostel during the early days of the series where she was exposed to the insects who feed on human blood

 ‘I looked like I’d been dragged from a riverbank, I looked like a mottled corpse on Casualty.

‘Bake Off started making people cry. That’s our only contribution and it seems like a very simple one, but if it had the effect then I’m very happy with it.’

Mary turned down a huge pay rise to stay with the baking show after it switched networks from BBC One to Channel 4 after seven years.

Her loyalty in remaining with the BBC has certainly paid off, with Mary fronting a number of shows for the station including Mary Berry’s Simple Home Comforts, Mary Berry Everyday and Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets. 

Early days: Speaking to the Full Disclosure podcast, Sue Perkins told how the show is seen as the huge success it is now, but the beginning stages were quite different

Early days: Speaking to the Full Disclosure podcast, Sue Perkins told how the show is seen as the huge success it is now, but the beginning stages were quite different 

Great British Bake Off hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc quit the show in 2016 shortly after it was announced that the series was moving from BBC One to Channel 4.

Mary quit shortly after them, but fellow judge Paul Hollywood decided to remain with the show, while accepting a big pay rise, causing much controversy.

In a statement released at the time, Mary said: ‘What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of 7 years of magic in a tent – The Great British Bake Off. The Bake Off family – Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter.

Changes: Great British Bake Off hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc quit the show in 2016, with Mary following shortly after. Paul Hollywood decided to remain with the show, causing much controversy (pictured together in 2016)

Changes: Great British Bake Off hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc quit the show in 2016, with Mary following shortly after. Paul Hollywood decided to remain with the show, causing much controversy (pictured together in 2016)

‘My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision.

‘I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it.’

Mary later revealed that she was never formally offered a spot on the new GBBO, telling the Radio Times: ‘I was never asked to go.’

Reasons: 'My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one'

Reasons: ‘My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one’

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