UK celebrity chef Delia Smith hangs up her TV apron

Tue Feb 5, 2013 1:03pm EST
 

By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - Celebrity chef Delia Smith, who was inspired by the awfulness of British food, has decided to quit television, saying entertainment had overtaken education in modern cookery shows.

Smith, 71, the UK's best-selling cookery author with more than 21 million copies sold, told fans at a trade show that she was leaving TV after about 40 years to focus on a new venture, the Delia Online Cookery School.

The chef said she is still passionate about teaching people how to cook in a no-nonsense style but she wanted to work online with her followers who have coined the phrase "doing a Delia" to refer to preparing one of her recipes.

"This is the future for me and the population. It's miles ahead. If you do a TV program now, it's got to entertain," Smith was quoted by the Telegraph newspaper as telling a question and answer session at a trade show in Birmingham to promote her bakeware range.

A spokeswoman for Smith, Melanie Grocott, confirmed that the chef had announced she would not be doing any more TV shows and was concentrating on her online cookery school.

Smith's retirement will come as a disappointment to her many fans who opt for her practical, fail-safe recipes as opposed to some of the more flamboyant styles of newer celebrity chefs.

Her cookbooks are a staple in many UK kitchens.

Smith's departure from TV will also be a blow to some British supermarkets who report the "Delia effect" - a term listed in the Collins English Dictionary in 2001 to describe a rush for a certain ingredient or item used by Smith in a recipe.   Continued...

 
British television chef Delia Smith arrives at a reception hosted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to pay tribute to the contribution of more than 400 pioneers to British life at Buckingham Palace in London, October 13, 2003. REUTERS/Michael Crabtree