It’s with sadness I note the passing away - the final flan, the last lattice pork pie - of formidable culinary figure Clarissa Dickson Wright. Clarissa was a peculiar entity on British television, a woman resolutely untamed and non-preened and the opposite of winsome. A tremendous, often fierce yet terribly funny, mud-spattered, gun-toting movable mass of womanhood. Clarissa loved the Countryside Alliance and was one of the only two women in Britain to be part of the Guild of Butchers. One might not have agreed with her views, but Clarissa's flagrant disregard for other people’s offence - in a world full of demanded apologies - I found frankly appealing.
She achieved fame as one of the The Two Fat Ladies, a jokey, albeit slightly cruel title which painted the likes of her and her companion Jennifer Paterson - women without a thigh-gap or a spin-off aerobics DVD between them - as wobbly outsiders. But the stalwart, indomitable likes of Clarissa could be seen - and still can - at country fairs and farm shows the length and breadth of Britain. She was more the typically British rose than the likes of Liz Hurley or Lady Di. Lumpen, often livid, the sort of woman who could whip up a running buffet for 17 plus dogs in the time it would take Cara Delevinge to choose lip-gloss. Yes, perhaps slightly “fat” but wow, what a lady.