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Nigella Lawson stormed by MI5 after they feared ‘assassination attempt’ on Salman Rushdie

Nigella Lawson has recalled the shocking moment MI5 stormed her kitchen after mistakenly fearing there had been an ‘assassination attempt’ on Salman Rushdie’s life.

In an interview with The Sun, the TV cook, 61, recounted the bizarre tale which saw her invite her long-time pal Salman, 74, to dinner only for intelligence officers to assume the worse when her oven exploded.

Salman Spent more than a decade in hiding after his ‘blasphemous’ 1988 novel The Satanic Verses led a Muslim leader to put a price on his head. 

Oh dear! Nigella Lawson has recalled the shocking moment MI5 stormed her kitchen after mistakenly fearing there had been an ‘assassination attempt’ on Salman Rushdie’s life (pictured together in 2005)

But an evening at the food writer’s home almost ended in disaster when a her exploding oven caused Salman’s protection officers to take action.

She said: ‘I’ve known Salman Rushdie since I was 23, and when he had to go into hiding because he had the Fatwa, he came to have dinner with me when I lived in a very little flat.

‘Special Branch, who were protecting him, had to go and sit in my bedroom and wait there. When I was cooking, something went wrong with my oven and it kind of blew up, and I ended up looking like Lucille Ball.

Blunder: In an interview with The Sun , the TV cook, 61, recounted the bizarre tale which saw her invite her long-time pal Salman, 74, to dinner only for intelligence officers to assume the worse when her oven exploded.

Blunder: In an interview with The Sun , the TV cook, 61, recounted the bizarre tale which saw her invite her long-time pal Salman, 74, to dinner only for intelligence officers to assume the worse when her oven exploded.

‘I had black-brown cheeks and of course Special Branch obviously thought there had been some sort of assassination attempt on him in my house. They all then stormed into the kitchen in an instant, so that probably is one of the worst blunders.’

Adding a touch of humour to the tale, Nigella then quipped: ‘The lamb was ruined’. 

MailOnline have contacted a representative of Salman for comment. 

Author Salman spent years living under 24-hour police protection after the publication of his 1988 novel, which was inspired in part by the life of the Prophet Mohammed.

Drama: But an evening at the food writer's home almost ended in disaster when a her exploding oven caused Salman's protection officers to take action

Drama: But an evening at the food writer’s home almost ended in disaster when a her exploding oven caused Salman’s protection officers to take action

Wow: 'I had black-brown cheeks and of course Special Branch obviously thought there had been some sort of assassination attempt on him in my house. They all then stormed into the kitchen in an instant'

Wow: ‘I had black-brown cheeks and of course Special Branch obviously thought there had been some sort of assassination attempt on him in my house. They all then stormed into the kitchen in an instant’

It provoked protests across the world from outraged Muslims who claimed it insulted the prophet and accused Sir Salman of mocking their faith.

The row culminated in February 1989 with Sir Salman being condemned to death by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa – a legal pronouncement by an expert in religious law – calling for his execution.

It comes after Nigella revealed that she lasted just two weeks on a plant-based diet after it left her feeling ‘very run down’ and exacerbated an iron deficiency. 

Speaking to The Sunday Times about her new book Cook, Eat, Repeat last month, the TV chef admitted: ‘I couldn’t be vegan, though I do love vegetables. I don’t see the point.’ 

'I don't see the point!' It comes after Nigella revealed that she lasted just two weeks on a plant-based diet after it left her feeling 'very run down' and made an iron deficiency worse

‘I don’t see the point!’ It comes after Nigella revealed that she lasted just two weeks on a plant-based diet after it left her feeling ‘very run down’ and made an iron deficiency worse 

The food writer, who is famed for her playful innuendos, continued: ‘I’m very happy to not eat so much meat but I do love it. I’m also in a privileged position and I get great salt-aged beef or lamb, so I never like to lecture people.’ 

‘I felt very run down, and I’m low iron anyway. So I needed it,’ she revealed. 

Referring to factory-produced plant-based food alternatives, the media personality said: ‘I want to eat proper food, because I feel that we have the teeth for meat and so it’s natural for us to want to eat it. 

‘I know it’s an argument that vegans disagree with, so I respect that position, but I feel I’m not ready.’ 

New title: Speaking to The Sunday Times about her new book Cook, Eat, Repeat, the TV chef admitted: 'I couldn't be vegan, though I do love vegetables. I don’t see the point'

New title: Speaking to The Sunday Times about her new book Cook, Eat, Repeat, the TV chef admitted: ‘I couldn’t be vegan, though I do love vegetables. I don’t see the point’


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