Delia Smith, the nation's second-best-selling TV chef, has announced that she will never make another cookery programme. She parted company with Waitrose last month, and speculation was rife as to what she would be up to next.
However, she has now confirmed that her future will not include another cookery programme. So why has she turned her back on TV, and how will this affect her earning potential?
TV retirementIt seems odd to be speculating so furiously on the career of a woman who has reached the age of 71, is at the pinnacle of her profession, and has every right to slow down a bit. However, Delia is a national treasure, and as such we want her to keep going forever.
The Telegraph reported that she responded to some of this speculation at a cookery show in Birmingham. She said: "If you do a TV programme now, it's got to entertain. When I started, there was further education in the BBC; now you have to entertain. You have someone telling me I haven't got time to show this, or I haven't got time to show that."
"As soon as my Waitrose contract ended, the BBC called me up and said 'what can we do?' And I said 'no, thank you'. I am afraid to say this is the end when it comes to Delia on the telly."
NextInstead, she will run an internet cookery show: The Delia Online Cookery Show. Her deliaonline.com brand is already well recognised, and has garnered fans for its step-by-step approach and comprehensive recipes. The next step will be to produce video for the channel.
So will this have a dramatic effect on the way she makes money?
Certainly she won't get a media fee for her shows. However, her empire stretches much further than this. Delia is the UK's 10th richest female entrepreneur (worth £23 million) and you don't get this rich through TV cookery alone.
Making moneyShe will still be making money from her catering company at Norwich City football ground, she will still be paid for appearances at trade fairs (like the one where she made this announcement) and the royalties from book sales continue to pour in. She also has her ad revenue from Delia Online, which is only going to increase as more cooks spend longer on the site.
She has celebrated the launch of her cookery school with a new line of bakeware, which isn't going to hurt. Announcing the range she said: "More often that not, cake recipes fail when people are not using the correct tin for the mixture they have made, we have taken the stress out of sourcing the right tins with this new collection". If she tells her online cookery fans about her range often enough she could make a killing.
By next year she could be challenging Nicola Horlick for 9th place on the list (or Katie Price for 8th).
Of course, as the Guardian has highlighted, this is not the first time Delia has announced her TV retirement. In 2003 she said she would be giving it up to spend more time focusing on football.... so we could see a triumphant return any day now.
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