Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Bafta honours cookery queen Delia

Delia Smith has been awarded a special Bafta

Delia Smith has won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) special award at a tribute event.

The celebrity chef, who has a CBE, received the latest award in honour of her contribution to television cookery and services to broadcasting at 'A Bafta Tribute: Delia Smith'.

She said: "It was a bit of a shock at first because I thought only people who were in movies had Baftas which shows you how ignorant I am, but then when I understood it, obviously it's a huge honour and a great privilege."

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."

Speaking about her 40-year career, Delia said: "I think there's been highlights to every stage of the journey really. I think the most rewarding and satisfying thing is meeting the people who use the recipes, reading their letters, well now their emails, but that's always rewarding when you realise you are actually reaching people through this wonderful medium called television.

"At the moment we're starting from scratch and doing exactly the same thing online, and we've got Delia Online cookery school and that's my passion at the moment, to try and reach younger people who have not had any lessons and try and teach them the basics.

"It's always hard, hard labour. There's no other way around it. If it's going to be good, it's going to be hard, so no surprises there."

She added: "I'm not really a recognisable face, not really. I'm very lucky because when I'm all dolled up like now, people might recognise me, but most of the time, without my make-up on, I'm a bit of a scruff and I don't get recognised."

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