Mary Berry: My recipe to limit the use of screen time

Mary Berry says she limits her grandchildren’s screen time when they are on holiday together.

A recent report found that children find it “too much effort” to interact in real life and prefer to watch YouTube, while another study has warned about toddler development.

Berry, speaking before the Oldie Of The Year Awards, revealed her recipe to moderate the use of tablets and mobile phones.

“It’s up to the parents and schools to be controlled and it should be controlled,” she said.

Oldie of the Year awards
Mary Berry arriving for the Oldie of the Year awards (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Asked about her grandchildren, she said: “If we all go on holiday together they give them to me [their screens] at 9 o’clock in the morning and I give them back after supper.”

Her comments come after Location, Location, Location presenter Kirstie Allsopp told how she smashed her children’s iPads after they broke her rules about screen time.

V & A Summer Party – London
Kirstie Allsopp (Ian West/PA)

Berry said she had no problem with YouTube cookery stars, adding: “It gives people the choice of what they want.”

Speaking before the awards ceremony – where Amanda Barrie, Sheila Hancock and Lionel Blair won gongs – the cookery book author and broadcaster said she was enjoying having more time to do what she wants after leaving The Great British Bake Off.

Oldie of the Year awards
Lionel Blair and Amanda Barrie were among the winners (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“I’m  delighted that Prue Leith took over my job and she’s doing amazingly well and she’s loving it,” Berry told the Press Association.

“I’m so happy that I can choose what I want to do and I’m very fortunate and I absolutely love every minute so it’s a bit of gardening and going to Chelsea [and TV work].”

She said Bake Off, which moved from the BBC to Channel 4, would continue for years to come.

She said: “I think Bake Off is an amazing format and it will continue and I’m not there but Prue is doing a brilliant job with Paul [Hollywood] and it all works well.”

And she added of the show’s former hosts: “I see Mel and Sue quite a lot and we’re a gang. “

Asked if she had given up alcohol for January, she said: “I don’t diet in January. I don’t do Dry January. I enjoy a drink in moderation.”

And she added: “I’m not a takeaway person! I find it easier to get going at home.”