When one thinks of Mary Berry, one might think comforting familiarity and domestic wizardry, but rarely would anyone think of law-breaker. However, that’s exactly what she was suspected of when she got arrested going to America 25 years ago…

The 83 year old chef revealed that she was once arrested at U.S. customs after decanting flour and sugar into little plastic bags before going through airport security.

The former ‘Great British Bake Off’ judge was a guest on Graham Norton’s chat show, in an episode going out on Friday night (April 20th) in which she appeared with ‘Britain’s Best Home Cook’ co-host Claudia Winkleman.

Mary BerryMary Berry was once arrested at US customs

“I was arrested 25 years ago. I was going to the US to do some cookery demonstrations and was worried that there might be problems so I weighed out all the ingredients – flour, sugar – and put them all in little plastic bags,” she explained to a bemused Norton. “When I arrived at the airport the sniffer dogs made a bee-line for me.”

More: Paul Hollywood reckons he got ‘worse press than the Yorkshire Ripper’ over ‘Great British Bake Off’s move to Channel 4

Fortunately, American customs had (just about) enough sense to figure out that Berry was a celebrated cook, rather than a drug mule, and she was released.

“Suddenly I was surrounded by uniformed people and my assistant and I were put in separate cells. It was alarming. When I was asked if was going to make money from the stuff, I said, “I do and my fee has already been agreed’.”

Mary Berry returns to BBC One on May 3rd at 8pm with ‘Britain’s Best Home Cook’.

Winkleman, her colleague on the new show, said that she signed up as soon as she learned that Berry was involved. “I didn’t ask anything about it once I knew Mary was on board. I just wanted to be with her!”

More: Mary Berry gets new BBC show exploring her culinary history [archive]