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DAME Mary Berry was attacked by bed bugs after being put up in budget accommodation by the BBC.
The TV judge, 86, was exposed to the critters after she was booked into a £25-a-night youth hostel while filming early Bake Off episodes, former co-star Sue Perkins revealed.
Comic Sue, 52, who co-hosted the hit show with comedy partner Mel Giedroyc, 53, from 2010 to 2016, when it moved to Channel 4, said: “Bake Off can only be seen now through the prism of huge success.
“But we were there at its inception, when Barry’s burger vans were the in-house catering, when we were in a youth hostel at £25 a night — and Mary Berry got bed bugs.
"We were a travelling show and the team had to put the tent up.”
Complaining about the long days, she recalled: “We’d spend 16 or 17 hours a day interviewing people in the tent who were Anglo Saxon experts about why they’d put rabbits feet in a sponge in the 12th Century.
"But it evolved hugely from the intense documentary about foodstuffs into the beloved programme it is now.
“We had a make-up artist who painted a mulberry, purple sort of colour lipstick on me in one series.
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"I looked like I’d been dragged from a riverbank, I looked like a mottled corpse on Casualty.”
Sue added on the Full Disclosure podcast: “Bake Off started making people cry.
That’s our only contribution and it seems like a very simple one, but if it had the effect then I’m very happy with it.”
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