Since Netflix released two seasons of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off (under the pseudonym Great British Baking Show) to the masses, Americans have gotten a crash course in the proper consistency of a sponge (soft, but not underbaked), the English inclination toward ruining every dessert with passion fruit purée, and, most notably, the star power of judge Mary Berry.
Berry, an 82-year-old woman with piercing blue eyes and a savage ability to dissect every flaw in your crumb cake with an understated-yet-genuine smile, is perhaps the most charming component of the most charming show ever to air on television. She is the modern day embodiment of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy strategy of “speak softly and carry a big stick,” with arguably better execution and far fewer human lives at stake.
And though she is a new fixture in the American household, Berry has been gracing British television with her cooking skills for quite some time. A deep YouTube dive uncovers a multitude of amazing segments from the 1970s show Good Afternoon! on ThamesTV, complete with delightfully retro English fare, multi-colored patchwork button-downs, and a beautiful young Mary Berry.
If you thought you would be getting anything productive done for the rest of the day, well…sorry. Enjoy!
Here she is putting fish in the blender with no hesitation.
…and red currant jelly in an otherwise tasty-looking lasagna.
Easiest potato salad ever? Canned potatoes, mayo, and celery. Boom.
And just in time for Easter, this decorated Simnel cake consisting of almond paste sandwiched between two layers of fruitcake is just about the most British dessert ever.
Sadly, Berry announced her departure from GBBO in September, to the rightful dismay of fans everywhere—but will soon star in an all new BBC series, Mary Berry’s Secrets From Britain’s Great Houses. Until then, we’ll just be watching these clips on repeat.