The Great British Bake Off

In my blog on Mary Berry two years ago there was a piece of the jigsaw missing…Paul Hollywood’s birth date!  Now that is available, and the two of them are back with the super successful Great British Bake Off, together with Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc who are enjoying a career renaissance.  In addition, Paul Hollywood is appearing in a new series of “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

Mary Berry – A Reprise

From my blog dated 1/12/13:

“What is her enduring appeal?  She has the resilience and energy of Sun in Aries, and its directness and simplicity, a real English rose (she was brought up in the quintessentially English city of Bath).  Aries is not traditionally associated with baking, but we do not have her birth time and Ascendant, which could sway her towards baking (a Taurus or Cancerian Ascendant would suit the profession).

She has amiability (in her Moon/Jupiter conjunction) and diplomacy (Mars in Libra – see Saturday’s aspects).

The Sun in her chart sextiles Chiron, so she is a healing antidote to her more intense screen partner Paul Hollywood.  Chiron does exert pressure on her Mercury/Saturn however, so she would have experienced mental strain in her life.    Mercury conjunct Saturn can be associated with struggles at school.

Her baking talent, and the force of her personality, are likely to be due to a conjunction  of Venus at the beginning of Taurus (baking) and Uranus at the end of Aries (an out of the ordinary talent, plus social skills combined with Venus).  She has also been praised for her sartorial (Venusian) elegance.”

Paul Hollywood

Paul is a Sun in Pisces; well he certainly has the eyes to go with it!  Part of him wishes to stay out of the limelight, which is possibly why he found success in mid-life.

He is his own man, and has 0 planets in Cardinal signs, so doesn’t have a desire to lead, but likes to do his own thing.  He has 8 of his 10 planets in Mutable signs (unusual!) so is extremely versatile and adaptable.  He is emotional, with 5 of his 10 planets in Water, and has 0 Fire planets.  Referring to his experience in “Who Do You Think You Are?” he says: There was a time when I was talking to a historian and I had to walk away, because I was crying like a baby for about half an hour.”  His fieriness comes up in his Moon aspects (which are vague as we do not have a birth time) and in Mars square Jupiter.    But he does not let himself go overboard, with Mars conjunct Saturn.  Another set of checks and balances is seen in his Saturn exactly opposing his Uranus – he is conflicted between the old and the new.  Certainly Bake Off represents the traditional side of the equation.  He is a teacher, as seen by his Mercury closely sextile his North Node, and Venus (baking) trines his North Node as well.  He has the Wounded Healer Archetype, in Mars conjunct Chiron.

At the outset of Bake Off, Jupiter was exactly sextile Paul’s baking planet Venus, and Uranus was exactly sextile his natal North Node.  Saturn was trine his natal Venus, creating a Grand Trine together with his natal North Node.

Culinary Chemistry

Mary and Paul have a very energetic and dynamic partnership, with her Jupiter exactly trine his Mars, and his Mars trine exactly with her natal Pluto.  His Mars therefore completes a Grand Trine with her natal Pluto/Jupiter trine.  That is the recipe for their success!

Sue Perkins

Mel and Sue are the Ant and Dec of Bake Off.  They met at Cambridge University, and found success with their show Light Lunch in 1993.  After a few years where their careers diversified and faded slightly, they were offered the presenting of Bake Off, and were surprised to find that the formula worked.

Sue Perkins cannot have had an easy ride in life, with Sun conjunct Pluto square Mars.  There is a sense she may have had to fight for survival at times.  Her comic genius is shown in a classic comedian’s witty exact conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter.  Her own male and female energies are balanced (Venus trine Mars) but relationships with others not always easy (Venus square Neptune and Mars square Uranus).  She also presented a show about the Mekong River, which develops the love of travel from her Mercury-Jupiter conjunction.

When she was asked to present the Great British Bake Off she did not think it would be a lasting phenomenon.  Her transits of the time look like an event which changes her life radically: Uranus was opposing her Sun and squaring her natal Mars, and Neptune was square her Neptune.  It looks like quite an explosion in her life, astrologically.

Mel Giedroyc

Mel is said to have taken the presenting role on Bake Off  “just for the money” as money was very tight at the time.  Certainly she had a lot going on in terms of transits at the point Bake Off came into her life.  Transiting Jupiter conjunct her natal Chiron may literally have saved her maple syrup coated bacon.  Like Sue, she has a tie-in between her intellect (Mercury) and humour (Jupiter), in this case a sextile.  She has a charming triple conjunction of Venus/Sun/Mars in Gemini, which may give rise to the melodious tone of her voice, used in commercials.  Her sparky comedy duo partnership with Sue may be symbolized by her Moon conjunct Uranus in Virgo (Sue’s sign), although there is an equal chance her Moon is in Libra as we do not have her birth time.  Like Sue, she has a high energy square between Mars and Pluto, in Mel’s case exact.  They were born over a year apart.  Mel also has the chaotic Uranus/Pluto conjunction common to her year group, though by the time Sue was born it was waning.  She could suffer from high anxiety, with Mercury exactly square Chiron, too.  But she has leadership qualities in her Sun exactly sextile her natal North Node, and though she is equal billing with Sue and equal third in billing on Bake Off, it is possible that a later role in her life may fulfil that potential.

She has warm compatibility with Sue: Her Venus trine Sue’s Jupiter, and Sue’s Venus conjunct exactly her Jupiter.  In addition, they have some dynamic and complex interactions involving their outer planets.  In particular, some dramatic past lives together judging by Mel’s Pluto conjunct Sue’s South Node, perhaps saving each other’s lives and getting to know each other on a very deep level.


In the big event of the week, Jupiter enters Virgo at 11.11 Hrs on Tuesday 11th August.  This is good news for the coming year for people with Virgoan Sunsigns and Ascendants, who will be able to expand their talent and success.  It will though seem to be an exacting and to some extent constricting year for Sagittarians, who are more used to expansive living.  For the general astrological population, Jupiter’s time in Virgo may be helpful for jobseekers, farmers, professions which require skills of precision, breakthroughs in health research and awareness, and there may be advances in ecological areas and the battle to arrest climate change.  It will be a good period for creating your own job opportunities.

On Thursday 13th, interestingly at 1.11 a.m. (numerologists take note this week), Mercury opposes Neptune.  That’s a very confusing aspect, and the confusion can run to your thought processes, your travel plans, or weather conditions.  You will need to make an effort to see through the fog.  As it occurs in the very early hours of the morning, drive carefully if you are late out from the night before, and sip some chamomile tea if you are awake trying to solve mental mysteries.  Otherwise, your dreams may seem confused, and their meaning obscure.

Late morning the same day the Sun trines Uranus so you may have a sudden flash of insight as to what it was all about, or futuristic vision of the way forward.  Any creativity undertaken later in the day could hold originality and inventiveness.

Friday (14th) brings us a New Moon at 21 degrees Leo at 14.53 Hrs, a happy prospect with the promise of a new beginning in the areas of leisure, sport, holidays, creativity and the dramatic arts.  If you are involved with children or grandchildren it would be a good day for play and amusements.

Saturday (15th) is well-starred, with a conjunction in Leo between Venus and the Sun, which should warm the cockles of your heart in some way.  This conjunction takes place at 22 degrees Leo at 19.22 Hrs, and love rules the day.  Only 33 minutes later, at 19.55 Hrs, Mercury trines Pluto, so the love you have felt could give rise to some profound thinking and ideas.  Conversation will be deep and satisfying on a psychological level.  Though these influences may permeate the whole day, the evening activities will show their effect most intensely.

Read my analysis of the four Labour Leadership candidates, below

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – a big shift
  • Thursday – confusion, then dynamic expression
  • Friday – new beginning
  • Saturday – love and connecting the dots on a psychological level