Few cookshop and kitchenware department buyers were expected to be anywhere other than in front of their televisions at 8.30 last night, as Delia Smith returned to the screen.
The kitchen icon left the media world of cookery some years ago – but the housewares industry is unlikely to forget the influence she wielded then on kitchenware sales. If Delia used a particular type of spatula or baking pan, retailers braced themselves for a run on stock and even fights between shoppers over the last remaining item.
Yesterday’s first show in the new BBC2 series, called simply Delia, blended cooking with other sides of Delia’s life, such as her devotion to Norwich City Football Club. It presented a more relaxed Delia than the one we remember – and certainly a more relaxed approach to cooking, the emphasis being on tinned, frozen and pre-prepared short cuts.
And the favoured kitchenware products? Retailers can expect a run on stick and mini blenders – provided the Delia factor is as powerful as ever.