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Massive BBC for a tiny redhead 14 min. Stepsis Ally Berry fools around with bro because she can 7 min.


Mature woman with healthy summer breakfast, classic american pancakes with banana, kiwi, fresh berry and honey premium photo

R adio Times holds a party each year to honour those who have featured on its front covers, and amid the usual star actors, comedians and David Attenboroughs at the next such gathering will be a pleasantly unexpected figure. Drawing attention to the birthdate of senior performers is inevitably a sensitive matter, but is the only way that ageism can be monitored.

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And, at 79 this month, Berry represents a ificant departure from the much-commented fact of a frequent disparity between the enduring employability of male presenters — including the octogenarian Bruce Forsyth and David Attenborough — and the historical evidence that female on-screen talents have been lucky if their 50th birthday party has not also doubled up as a retirement bash.

While the most recent publicity has involved the commitment of new director of television Danny Cohen to address the gender and racial balance of the talent on panel shows, it looks as if attitudes to seniority — an embarrassment ever since former Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly won an age-discrimination case against the corporation three years ago — are also being addressed.

Does mary berry cooks mark a breakthrough for older women on tv?

The series and magazine cover for Berry follows the recent appearance of the year-old Joan Bakewell as a guest on Roomwhich departed from the usual demographic for quiz and game shows. As campaigners will rightly point out, two veterans do not yet make a trend, but there are at least s of a start.

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It has been common to contrast Mature woman in Berry general invisibility of older women in British television with the longevity granted by American broadcasting to Barbara Walters — who has chosen to retire from on-air presentation at the age of 84 this May, but will remain a producer — and Diane Sawyer, who presents the main ABC news bulletin at the age of But where many of the long-serving Americans have often seemed to defy and deny their age, psychologically and physically, Joan Bakewell has become a vocal lobbyist for older people, while Berry acknowledges and incorporates her age into her programme.

It can be taken as symbolic of this mature recognition of maturity that Berry's opening subject is afternoon tea, which, as she immediately makes clear, is a meal rarely eaten today, but which retains strong associations for some of her generation. And, in a sequence featuring the making of butterfly cakes, she is ed by two of her grand-daughters, and refers to herself consistently as "granny", a strategy which, much of the evidence in the Miriam O'Reilly case suggested, might ly have been unwise.

The main challenge for the programme team is that, though rich in life experience, Berry is an inexperienced presenter, having been promoted from a judge on Great British Bake-Off to a host of her own show — just as her co-judge was last year with Paul Hollywood's Bread.

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Two aspects of presentation in particular usually prove hardest for those jumping from punditry to fronting: learning to speak directly to camera and working out what to do with the hands. In Hollywood's programme, his links were — unusually — addressed as if to an unseen listeners off-camera to his sides, which suggested that he may have been uncomfortable at speaking down the lens.

Mature woman with healthy summer breakfast, classic american pancakes with banana, kiwi, berry

Berry follows the convention of Delia, Nigella and others in delivering her tips on ingredients and techniques out front, although her naturally modest temperament means that she tends to look down while speaking — delivering several of her monologues to the bowl or dough — and is visibly happier when she is able to talk to her grandchildren. Although one advantage of cookery shows, which seemed also to come as a relief to Hollywood, is that the hands are naturally occupied by the demonstrations, which reduces the risk of nervous semaphoring that occurs in other genres.

What is an unapologetically old-fashioned TV show with a presenter who makes no attempt to disguise when she was born.

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In the recent context of the medium, this combination of attitudes to the past counts almost as futuristic. Mark Lawson on television Television. With Mary Berry Cooks, the BBC is clearly hoping to respond to accusations that it was sidelining older women presenters — but will her inexperience as a host be a problem?

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Mary Berry, whose first solo programme Mary Berry Cooks begins this week. Mark Lawson. Reuse this content.

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Mature woman with healthy summer breakfast, classic american pancakes with banana, kiwi, fresh berry and honey.