Take a pinch of Italian cuisine, a healthy dollop of aspiration and garnish with one Domestic Goddess. Blend them all together on BBC2, and what do you get? Viewing figures of more than two and a half million for Nigellissima.
Everyone’s favourite coquettish cook Nigella Lawson returned to BBC2 last night for her first TV series in two years, bringing with her an average audience of 2.6m viewers and a 10.4% audience share between 8:30pm and 9pm.
Lawson's last series, Nigella Kitchen, started with a similar-sized audience in September 2010 before dipping to around 1.5m viewers per episode.
Nigellissima’s first episode failed to hit the heights of the chef’s two highest-rating UK series, 2006’s Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen and 2007’s Nigella Express, which reached peaks of 3.5m and 3.4m viewers per episode respectively.
But with Ms Lawson serving up wordplay as delicious as her food (“I always say my Eggs in Purgatory are absolute heaven when you feel like hell”), who could resist?