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Thu Oct 23 08:45:11 SAST 2014

Delia calls 'cut' after 40 years on TV

Reuters | 07 February, 2013 00:41
British celebrity chef Delia Smith. File photo

British celebrity chef Delia Smith is quitting television, saying entertainment has overtaken education on cookery shows.

Smith, 71, the UK's best-selling cookery author, with more than 21million books sold, told fans at a trade show that she was leaving TV after about 40 years to focus on a new venture, the Delia Online Cookery School.

The chef said she was still passionate about teaching people how to cook in a no-nonsense style, but she now wanted to work online with her followers, who have coined the phrase "doing a Delia" to refer to preparing one of her recipes.

According to her online biography, Smith quit school at 16 and worked as a hairdresser, as a shop assistant and in a travel agency before starting to cook.

She used to wonder why British food was so awful and French food so good.

After working in a restaurant and as a magazine cookery writer, she wrote her first cookbook in 1971. But she made her name with her first TV show, Family Fare, in the mid-1970s.

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