You don’t usually see the words ‘ruthless’ and ‘Mary Berry’ sitting alongside each other in the same sentence, do you?
But the 80-year-old Bake Off judge stunned TV industry bigwigs last night by firing her agent of 30 years standing, Fiona Lindsay. Lindsay is widely credited with making Mary the handwhisk-wielding megastar she is today.
“Mary has left Fiona after nearly 30 years and it has left a lot of people stunned,” gasped a TV insider last night. “No one knows the reasons behind it but it feels quite ruthless.
“It shows that even though she’s at 80 Mary is prepared to make tough decisions that she believes will benefit her career.
“This year has been a big time of change for her, especially given her decision to walk away from Bake Off when it leaves to Channel 4.”
The decision is apparently a complete shock to Lindsay’s firm Limelight Management, who were recently forced to issue a statement insisting that Mary had no plans to retire.
Seems like they didn’t know the half of it.
“It has been reported that Mary only intends to work another year – that’s simply wrong, she has lots of exciting projects coming up – including on TV with the BBC – and has absolutely no plans to retire,” the press release read.
The Bake Off star’s decision is all the more baffling as she’s a bigger hit with the public now than she’s been at any point in her career. In fact, she’s even managed to crack the US.
The American version of Bake Off, called The Great American Baking Show, has been a ratings winner on the ABC netwrok, with figures up 11% even when pitted head-to-head with American Football.
“It shows that Mary has a lot of commercial success left in her yet. The BBC are working on a range of new projects with her,” the insider continued. One of these is widely believed to be a Bake Off variant featuring Mel and Sue and past winner Nadiya Hussain replacing Paul Hollywood.
When contacted by The Sun yesterday, Fiona Lindsay declined to comment.