Mary Berry has said she is “standing by” former fellow judge Paul Hollywood as he continues with The Great British Bake Off in its new Channel 4 home.
She told the Radio Times magazine they have their differences but she “admired him a lot”.
“I would always stand by him. Paul and I had our differences about what was important to us, but he is a brilliant bread-maker and I admired him a lot.”
She said “no one was more surprised” than her when Bake Off left the BBC.
‘I was never asked’
It was announced in September last year that the show had been bought by Channel 4 after six years on the BBC.
It emerged that the corporation fell £10m short in its offer to Love Productions, which makes the show.
The 81-year-old said she was always going to stay loyal to the BBC and wasn’t tempted by a potentially bigger salary at Channel 4.
“No, I wasn’t. And anyway, I was never asked to go,” she said. “I avoided being asked. It was suggested what would happen if I did go to Channel 4, what I would get, the advantages.
“But I didn’t ever have a meeting with them. I’d made up my mind. To me, it’s an honour to be on the BBC. I was brought up on it.”
The show’s hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins also didn’t enter into negotiations with Channel 4 and Mary said she was very fond of the “extraordinary” comedy duo.
“It was the BBC’s programme, it grew there. So I decided to stay with the BBC, with Mel and Sue.”
She is moving on with two new BBC programmes in the works.
But before then she has admitted one issue she had Bake Off – contestants crying over baking mishaps in the early episodes of the series.
“In life you shouldn’t keep bursting into tears. There are occasions when you want to cry your heart out, but not on a television programme.
“If you do something that doesn’t work out, you have to gather yourself up and keep going.”