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TV chef Delia Smith says she failed to help people learn how to make dinner from the comfort of home

‘Britons STILL can’t cook!’ TV chef Delia Smith says she failed to help people learn how to make dinner from the comfort of home 50 years after she sparked sales in products from lemon zesters to eggs

As one of Britain’s original influencers, she caused eggs and omelette pans to fly off the shelves with the so-called ‘Delia effect’.

But TV cook Delia Smith has suggested her career has been a failure – because we still can’t cook.

Miss Smith, 80, said her aim was to teach people how to rustle up a meal from the comfort of their own homes with her hugely popular TV shows and books.

In a newspaper interview she said: ‘It was very rewarding and very exciting. What I wanted to do… was stop people having to go out in the cold to night school and learn how to cook. 

Cook Delia Smith, 80, (pictured in 1970) has suggested her career has been a failure because we still can’t cook. She said her aim was to teach people how to make a meal from home

‘They could learn in their own homes. That was the ambition, but people still don’t know how to cook, so I wasn’t that successful.’

Miss Smith – OBE, CBE and Companion of Honour – sparked huge sales in products from lemon zesters to eggs, skewers and cranberries after using them in recipes on her TV shows from the 1970s through to the early 2000s.

But despite decades on screen and having published more than 20 books, she says she now leaves the cooking to her husband, journalist Michael Wynn-Jones.

‘It’s a question of keeping out of the way, because if I’m in the kitchen, I can’t help going and turning the heat down or stirring,’ she told The Times. 

‘That’s why I go down to the end of the garden.’

Despite decades on screen and having published more than 20 books, she says she now leaves the cooking to her husband, journalist Michael Wynn-Jones (both pictured)

Despite decades on screen and having published more than 20 books, she says she now leaves the cooking to her husband, journalist Michael Wynn-Jones (both pictured)

Miss Smith was speaking to promote the revamp of Yellows Bar & Grill at Norwich City, the club of which she and Wynn-Jones became majority shareholders in 1997.

The star, famed for using chunks of butter in her cooking, said there is ‘no such thing as unhealthy food’ as she criticised taxing ‘natural foods’ sugar and salt.

She has no plans to return to cookery shows but is currently gearing up for the release of her next book, You Matter. 

‘What I’m encouraging people to do is just to step out of the noise for a little while,’ she said.

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