Image and credit: The Metro UK
She has taught the nation how to cook for almost five decades, but now Delia Smith has announced that she has presented her last TV cookery show.
The doyen of small-screen cooks is turning her back on television because she was tired of having to “entertain”, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Smith said she was still passionate about teaching people how to cook, but would do it online rather than on TV. She first presented her first BBC show in 1973 and appeared as recently as 2010.
“When I started, there was further education in the BBC; now you have to entertain,” said Smith, who will launch a new online cookery school later this month.
“This is the future for me and the population. It’s miles ahead. If you do a TV programme now, it’s got to entertain.”
Smith said the BBC was keen to work with her again after her three-year deal with Waitrose, during which she appeared in adverts for the supermarket chain, came to an end.
“As soon as my Waitrose contract ended, the BBC called me up and said ‘what can we do?’,” said Smith.
“And I said ‘no, thank you.’ I am afraid to say this is the end when it comes to Delia on the telly.”
Smith, 71, made the comments at a trade show in Birmingham, the Daily Telegraph reported. She was dropped by Waitrose by “mutual consent” last month.
She said her new venture, the Delia Online Cookery School, was “the best way to teach people to cook”.
However, it is not the first time Smith has announced her TV retirement, previously saying in 2003 she was giving it up to spend more time with her beloved football team, Norwich City, where she is a director.
Smith presented her first TV cookery show, Family Fare, in 1973, with her most famous series, Delia Smith’s Cookery Course, beginning five years later.
Her other TV series included Delia Smith’s One is Fun in 1985, Delia Smith’s Summer Collection in 1993 and How to Cook in 1998.
Her more recent series, How To Cheat at Cooking in 2008, proved controversial because its recipes included pre-prepared food.
She looked back on her career in the 2010 BBC series, Delia Through The Decades.
Smith left school with no qualifications and began training as a hairdresser, before taking a job as a dishwasher in a small restaurant in Paddington, west London.
She began writing on cookery for the Daily Mirror magazine in 1969, and married the deputy editor, Michael Wynn-Jones.
The couple are joint majority shareholders in Norwich City.
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