Mary Berry has defended her opposition to deep-fat fryers after her comments sparked indignation from MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.

Mary, 81, provoked controversy when she told a magazine that “I don’t think any household should have a deep-fat fryer”, while also speaking out against children drinking fizzy drinks.

Gregg responded by saying that the Great British Bake Off veteran’s opposition to the deep-fat fryer is “an attack on our British way of life”.

Gregg Wallace (David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images)

Now Mary has stuck by her comments, telling the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that deep-fat fryers are dangerous because they cause fires as well as being detrimental to health.

“I have never, on any of my programmes, ever used a deep-fat fryer,” she said.

“Nowadays everybody eats in the kitchen, I know we do, and I certainly don’t want the smell of frying while I’m eating.

Mary Berry (Luke MacGregor/PA)

“And so we do have oven chips from time to time when the grandchildren come – give them a treat – but I usually do things in the oven rather than frying. I think it’s unhealthy as well.”

She added: “Years ago I was on a programme – Good Afternoon (with Judith Chalmers) – and we had a fireman in the programme, and he told me that most kitchen fires were caused by deep-fat frying because… most people cook with a pan of fat on top of their cooker, and sometimes they get distracted and there’s a fire.”

Gregg blasted fellow BBC star Berry in the Sun On Saturday, writing: “Our nation was built on chips and spam fritters… I love Mary dearly but this is an attack on our British way of life.”

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (PA)

Mary is back on screen with fellow judge Paul Hollywood in the new series of Bake Off as another group of cake-loving hopefuls see whether they can stand the heat of the kitchen.

She said she was very happy to stay at the BBC, following reports that ITV had tried to poach the programme.

“I’m very happy where we have been and I’ve enjoyed the Bake Off and any decision that’s made is not mine,” she said.