Delia Smith, CH, CBE, cookery writer and broadcaster

Desert Island Discs

21-01-2024 • 37 mins

Delia Smith CH CBE is one of Britain’s most popular and successful cookery writers and broadcasters.

Her first book, How to Cheat at Cooking, was published in 1971 and she presented her first television series, Family Fare, two years later. Since then she has presented many more series and her books have sold more than 21 million copies in the UK alone. Her widespread influence has led to the phrase ‘the Delia effect’, when large numbers of shoppers sought out her recommendations.

Delia was born in Woking in 1941, and grew up in Bexleyheath. She attended the local secondary modern school, but left without any qualifications. She eventually found work as a pot washer and then a waitress in a French restaurant in London, where the chef encouraged her interest in cooking and food.

In 1969 she landed the job of cookery writer on the Daily Mirror’s new colour supplement. There she honed her simple, no-nonsense instructions and met her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones.

She hung up her apron in 2013 to spend more time on her other passion - football. Delia and Michael have been long-standing supporters – and, since 1996, majority shareholders - of Norwich City FC. She lives in Suffolk countryside in the same cottage she and Michael bought as their first home.

DISC ONE: The Sound of Silence - Paul Simon DISC TWO: Within You Without You - The Beatles DISC THREE: Gnossienne No 1. Composed by Erik Satie and performed by Alexandre Tharaud DISC FOUR: Caruso – composed by Lucio Dalla and performed by Luciano Pavarotti DISC FIVE: Kyrie: Call To Prayer – Muezzin from the Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo. Performed by Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Choristers of St. George's Chapel, Windsor and composed by David Fanshawe DISC SIX: This Woman's Work - Kate Bush DISC SEVEN: He Moved Through the Fair - Sinéad O'Connor DISC EIGHT: Happy - Pharrell Williams

BOOK CHOICE: Sister Wendy’s 100 Best-loved Paintings by Wendy Beckett LUXURY ITEM: The Desert Island Discs archive CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Kyrie: Call To Prayer – Muezzin from the Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo. Composed by David Fanshawe and performed by Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Choristers of St. George's Chapel, Windsor

Presenter Lauren Laverne Producer Sarah Taylor

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