Delia Smith returns with new cookery show

Delia Smith is returning to television six years after she announced she was hanging up her apron.

In a new series to be screened in the first half of next year, the doyenne of television cookery programmes will show viewers how to cut corners without compromising on quality, in an update of her first cookery book, How To Cheat At Cooking, published in 1971. The series will also show, for the first time, Smith's personal life, including her passion for football and her strong faith.

At the end of the third series of How To Cook in 2002, Smith said she was retiring from the small screen, complaining that a new breed of cookery shows served only to entertain rather than teaching the basics of cookery. "I'm quite old now – I want to quit while the going is good," she said at the time, adding: "Now people want to be entertained, whereas I was trying to teach how to cook, that's where it's different."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "It's going to be something we've not done before with Delia, showing how to cut corners, but not cut corners on quality or taste. We're also going to show her life beyond the kitchen. It's great that she's coming back and it's showing more of her life than ever before," the spokeswoman added.

The new series follows in the footsteps of Nigella Lawson, whose latest BBC2 series Nigella Express also focuses on fast and easy recipes and gives glimpses of the presenter's family life.

Supermarkets will be bracing themselves for the "Delia effect". Demand was so great after she revealed her recipe for cranberry sauce in the approach to Christmas 1995 that there was a nationwide shortage of the berries, while an episode in which she made omelettes led to a run on omelette pans.

Anthony Worrall Thompson once described Smith as the Volvo of British cooking, safe but dull, but her reliable no-frills recipes, including a step-by-step guide to how to boil an egg have sold 15million books.

After leaving school at 16 with no qualifications, Smith worked as a trainee hairdresser, a shop assistant and at a travel agency, before studying cookery books at the British Museum encouraged her to test recipes on family and friends.

In 1969, she began to write a column for the Daily Mirror's magazine and later wrote for the London Evening Standard. Her first BBC cookery show, Family Fare ran from 1973 to 1975. Teaching cookery to combat the increasing tendency towards fast food and ready meals has always been at the heart of her philosophy. Smith prides herself on testing her recipes over and over again with the aid of a team of assistants to be absolutely certain they work.

Aside from her cookery, Smith is also known for her faith. At the age of 22, she converted to Catholicism, and she has written three religious books.

Perhaps more famously, Smith and her husband, Michael Wynn Jones, are majority shareholders in Norwich City Football Club. When Smith announced her temporary retirement from television in 2003, she explained she wanted to devote more time to the Canaries, as the Norwich football team is known.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Recruitment Genius: External Relations Executive

£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...

Guru Careers: Sales Director / Business Development Manager

£35 - 45K + COMMISSION (NEG): Guru Careers: A Sales Director / Business Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee