‘The Great British Baking Show’: Mary Berry Was Once Arrested on Bizarre Charges

Mary Berry, the beloved former judge on The Great British Baking Show was such an integral part of the British export program. She brought her trademark warmth and honesty when speaking with contestants, always delivering her assessments with just the right touch of kind cushioning.

Mary Berry
Mary Berry | John Phillips/Getty Images

It was quite disarming, then, to recently learn of Berry’s arrest years ago under strange circumstances. Find out what happened and how the celebrity baker has been doing.

Berry is missed on ‘The Great British Baking Show’

Berry made her first appearance on the UK baking show in 2010, in which amateur bakers would try each week to wow the judges by superbly completing that week’s task. Those bakers that did so were safe until the following week, inching their way, baked good by baked good, toward the goal of winning the competition.

Mary Berry | Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

The show, with Berry’s presence, was much like a fluffy meringue, gentle yet full-flavored, with the 84-year-old emerging as a front-runner favorite judge. She is, after all, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu school in France and offered the bakers solid constructive criticism on their creations.

Following her time on the show, she appeared as a judge on The Great Holiday Baking Show and produced Mary Berry Everyday, a program presenting Berry’s favorite family recipes.

Berry’s loyalty to the BBC

Despite TGBBC moving to Channel 4 in England, Berry chose to leave the show and stay with the BBC, issuing a statement at the time.

“It has been a privilege and honour to be part of seven 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.”

“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.”

Berry’s unbelievable arrest and how the baker laughed it off

The British food writer and presenter shared earlier this year while appearing on The Graham Norton Show about her little-known arrest. Berry seemed at first to be caught off guard by the topic but regained her renowned composure and explained what happened.

“I was arrested 25 years ago. I was going to America to do some cookery demonstrations and I’m very particular about getting everything right and try to look ahead. So, in case the flight was delayed, I weighed out each recipe – flour, sugar – and put them all in little plastic bags.”

Mary Berry and fellow guests on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ | Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images

“When I arrived at the airport, the sniffer dogs made a beeline for me. Suddenly I was surrounded by uniformed people and my assistant and I were parted and placed in cells. It was alarming.”

Fellow Graham Norton Show guest Claudia Winkleman interjected, “Mary Berry in a cell with a selection of packets containing white powder,” as the audience roared with laughter.

Mary Berry on ‘The Graham Norton Show’ | Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Berry continued, “When I was asked if I was going to make money from the stuff, I said, ‘I do and my fee has already been agreed.’”

Twenty-five years later, the successful television baker has clearly straightened herself out and made up for those five minutes in jail with her incredibly distinguished career.

Read more: What is ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Judge Paul Hollywood’s Net Worth?