Delia Smith: BBC bosses said my show was not sexy enough

The TV chef has revealed how she was axed in the '80s

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Delia Smith has revealed that, long before the time when Nigella Lawson routinely spiced up food TV with her suggestive purring, BBC2 bosses axed her from an unnamed series for not being “sexy enough.”

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Smith, now 71, says she lost the show during the 1980s after the success of her ’70s cookery show, Family Fare. “The next controller said, ‘I don’t think this is sexy enough. I don’t think it belongs on my channel. I think it should go to education’. That was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Delia.

The no-nonsense chef, who has written 23 books and presented 17 TV series, was speaking at a Bafta tribute to her 40 year broadcasting career, where she was presented with a special award for her contribution by comedian Victoria Wood.

Delia also went on to share her thoughts on TV’s current crop of food programming and what is missing from the menu: “My food had to be the star… Food isn’t theatre … Our problem is we don’t think highly enough of it, we have to turn it into something else… what is missing is the basics, young people are afraid to cook”.

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She did admit to a favourite, however: “I really like the Hairy Bikers, because they are entertaining and make me want to eat what they are cooking.”