Delia Smith to receive Bafta Special Award

Celebrity chef will be honoured by Bafta in April for her outstanding contribution to TV cookery

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Delia Smith is to be honoured with a Special Award by Bafta later this year in recognition of her outstanding contribution to TV cookery.

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Smith, who recently announced her intention to retire from television, will also be the focus of a special Bafta tribute film celebrating her 40-year TV career when she receives her award.

Andrew Newman, chair of Bafta’s Television Committee, said: “Delia Smith is one of the most influential voices in television cookery and has played an important role in not only pioneering the genre in television but also shaping the perception of cooking in the nation’s consciousness.

“Delia was the first TV cook to be recognised by her first name alone and her achievements have paved the way for today’s cooking programmes and formats. It is unlikely that Jamie, Nigella, Gordon, The Hairy Bikers, and much-loved competitions such as The Great British Bake Off or Masterchef would have happened without her contribution.”

Smith first appeared on TV in 1973 as a presenter on BBC1’s Family Fare and has since hosted numerous cookery series including Delia Smith’s Cookery Course, One is Fun, Delia’s How to Cook and Delia’s Classic Christmas.

Discussing her award, Smith said: “After the initial shock, I’m very proud to receive this honour from Bafta as I’ve been a passionate movie buff ever since I was a small child, and television broadcasting has been a huge part of my life. So thank you so much Bafta!”

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Public tickets for A Bafta Tribute: Delia Smith will go on sale on Wednesday 6 March through Bafta’s website, and the event will take place on Tuesday 30 April.