Delia back on TV to calm our festive fears

National institution Delia Smith is promising to 'allay our worries' during the panic-stricken festive season as she hosts her first Christmas special for almost 20 years.


National institution Delia Smith is promising to "allay our worries" during the panic-stricken festive season as she hosts her first Christmas TV special for almost 20 years.

The well-loved presenter and joint majority shareholder at Norwich City FC will guide viewers through techniques such as achieving the perfect glossily bronzed turkey and creating a panettone trifle.

And the cookery guru - who sparked a national cranberry shortage in 1995 - will again tickle the nation's tastebuds with a recipe featuring the fruit.

The 60-minute special, Delia's Classic Christmas, will be her first seasonal special since 1990.

It will see her explaining how to tackle planning and timing the meal with the emphasis on preparing as much as possible ahead of the big day.

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She will serve up classic Christmas dishes garnished with a few modern twists.

Her menu for the BBC2 special includes home-made mincemeat, a traditional Christmas pudding and a turkey with all the trimmings.

She will also serve up chocolate and sour cherry crumble, as well as cranberry and orange relish, scallops in the shell and an indulgent panettone trifle.

A BBC spokesman said: "Delia is a firm believer that the festive period of cooking and feasting should be cherished, not feared. But in a season which can be fraught with panic, Delia is here to allay our worries."

Smith will also be celebrated by the BBC with a five-part series looking back at her 40 years in cookery.

BBC2's Delia Through the Decades explores her career and the way she has affected the UK's eating habits.

Fans such as Stephen Fry, Victoria Wood and Sir David Attenborough also offer their thoughts and praise.

Beeb bosses will be hopeful the TV series will prove as popular as 1998's Delia's How to Cook, which reportedly led to a 10pc rise in egg sales in Britain.

This phenomenon - 'the Delia Effect' - was most recently seen in 2008 after her new book, How to Cheat at Cooking, was published.

In 2003 Delia announced her retirement from TV, however she returned for an eponymously-titled six-part series on the BBC in spring 2008.

Delia has a majority shareholding in the Canaries with her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones, with whom she lives near Stowmarket in Suffolk.

cOMMENT - Page 28

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