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Mary Berry announced as judge on new BBC cookery show

Mary Berry
Mary Berry

Mary Berry is returning to her role as judge - in a new BBC1 cookery show presented by Claudia Winkleman.

A search for a second judge to join the former Great British Bake Off star on Britain's Best Cook is currently under way.

Instead of focusing on baking, Berry, 82, will cast her eye on home cooking, from a traditional roast to an "ingenious twist on chicken curry or an irresistible chocolate pudding".

Ten contestants will be asked to serve "the most perfect version of dishes that define modern British home cooking" and "create their special take on well-loved classics" in the eight-part series.

Berry said: "I am never more at home than when I have my judging hat on.

"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."

Winkleman, 45, who was recently revealed to be the BBC's highest-paid woman on a list of talent published by the corporation, said: "I am over-the-moon to be part of this show.

"I am slightly obsessed with Mary so will follow her around with my own moussaka for most of the filming. Apologies in advance."

The new cookery competition comes after Berry decided not to move with Paul Hollywood and the Great British Bake Off to Channel 4.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: "Home cooking has quietly become one of the nation's favourite obsessions and so there is no better place than BBC1 to compete for this crown.

"The queen of all judges Mary Berry will be the indisputable head judge with the irresistible Claudia Winkleman hosting proceedings. But, who will be Mary's judging partner? The search is on!"

Strictly Come Dancing co-host Winkleman has also presented the Great British Sewing Bee on the BBC.

Berry has recently been on screens in Mary Berry Everyday, showcasing some of the recipes from her long career, and has also signed up to make Mary Berry's Secrets From Britain's Great Houses for BBC1.

Britain's Best Cook (working title) will be broadcast next year.