Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Delia Smith vows never to make another cookery programme

Delia Smith has said she will never make another television programme because she was fed up with having to “entertain” rather than teach people how to cook.

Delia Smith, 71, said she turned down an offer from the BBC for another programme and is to offer online tutorials. Smith began her screen career in the 1970s Photo: BBC
Her announcement, at the age of 71, marks the end of a television career that spanned more than 40 years and introduced at least two generations to cooking, from a basic boiled egg to the delights of oven-roasted tilapia (a fish).
Smith made her announcement while demonstrating a new line of baking tins at a trade show, the Spring Fair, in Birmingham. She said she was still passionate about teaching people how to cook but wanted to do it via online tutorials, not television.
“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,” she said.
“When I started, there was further education in the BBC; now you have to entertain. You have someone telling me I haven’t got time to show this, or I haven’t got time to show that.”
Asked if she would reconsider if a television company offered the right money or the right format she said: “No. As soon as my Waitrose contract ended, the BBC called me up and said 'what can we do?’ And I said 'no, thank you’. I am afraid to say this is the end when it comes to Delia on the telly.”
Delia Smith during filming of one of her early cookery programmes (Rex)

The chef, who has sold 21 million books throughout her career, said that she would launch the Delia Online Cookery School later this month – aimed at people who use a computer in their kitchen and want a step-by-step guide to baking cakes, for example.
She said it was “the best way to teach people to cook”. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s better than television or live demonstration.”
Her retirement is likely to upset her legion of fans, many of whom see her as an antidote to the lifestyle-driven shows presented by younger chefs. 

Much more at The Telegraph


Lauraine said...

Can't say I am surprised. Delia has always beena superb teacher. The current antics of food television and shows like masterchef and its clones ahve turned cooking into a three ringed circus.
I remember my sister returning from London and trying to cook a pudding from a local "you-can-do this-without-stress-in-a-few-minutes" book author and she failed miserably. So she then pulled out her copy of Delia, found a similar recipe and noticed that the instructions were three times as lengthy! Delia's recipe worked beautifully.
What a shame delia gives up when she knows more than anyone else. But maybe we live in a society that no longer values experience and wisdom?

Renee said...

Sadly, I think Lauraine's observation that 'maybe we live in a society that no longer values experience and wisdom' is very close to the mark.