1maryShe is widely regarded as a national treasure in the UK, and so it’s little wonder that viewers got so emotional over The Mary Berry Story last night. The show, which aired on BBC2, documented the highs and lows of the Great British Bake-Off star’s life and career – including the devastating loss of her son, William, in 1989.

William, who was just 19 at the time, was home from university for a visit when he was involved in a car accident. Recalling the moment she found out about her son’s death, Mary told the camera: “The doorbell rang and a policeman was there. Immediately, I knew why. He said, ‘There’s been an accident and I’m sorry to say your son is dead.’”

A visibly tearful Mary also recalled the moment that she and her husband, Paul, said goodbye to William in the hospital. “He just looked so beautiful and lovely, his little cold face; and it was nice to say farewell,” she added.

There was an outpouring of love and emotion on Twitter during show, with many sharing their sympathies with the 81-year-old. “Bawling my eyes out watching the Mary Berry programme when she talks about the death of her son,” tweeted one viewer. Meanwhile, another chimed in: “I knew that Mary Berry’s son William died when he was 19, but I still get choked up again seeing her talking about him just now.”