Nigella Lawson reports on Princess Diana’s death in 1997
The celebrity chef, 61, forged an illustrious TV career following the success of her cookbooks and is now best known for her saucy innuendos on screen. She returns to the BBC tonight with a new episode of Nigella: At My Table. Nigella, a self-professed Remainer, has largely kept her political views out of the spotlight, but in a few rare moments, she voiced her opposition to Brexit.
Nigella rose to fame as a literary and restaurant reviewer before she made her move into TV – including with a Newsnight report about Princess Diana’s death.
In a comment piece from The Sun, Ally Ross remarked that despite the star’s “extraordinary wealth and privilege” she often presented a “one of you” facade.
In December, Ms Ross noted Nigella was “canny enough” to “name-drop Left-wing” figures and was known for voicing her frustration over Brexit.
She wrote: “None of the usual right-on, angry brigades ever calls her out on it.
“[Nigella] sends out enough anti-Brexit tweets to let them know, ‘I’m one of you.’
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“More fool them for being suckered… and more fool me for letting it get under my skin.”
On social media, Nigella has come under fire a few times for her views – mostly, in relation to Brexit.
In 2018, the star shared a photograph of a table with stacked wooden boxes containing an array of crisps that was decorated with flowers.
Nigella, who now has 2.7 million followers on Twitter, wrote: “Sign of a good wedding.”
The tweet, which was liked by 2,100 people, was followed by an admission that she had chosen the nuptials over an important anti-Brexit moment.
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Nigella wrote: “PS the reason I’m not on the march.”
The star referred to the People’s Vote march, which sought to undo the decision of the British public to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016.
After a series of debates and campaigning, Leave won by a clear 52 percent of the vote to Remain’s 48 percent.
The People’s Vote march, which called for a second Brexit referendum, was attended by 700,000 Remainers in London.
Nigella’s comment, which reiterated her call for Britain not to leave the EU, was attacked by people on both sides of the debate.
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One user wrote: “I wish you had not made this last remark. Love your cooking and cuisine. Politics is something else.”
A second added: “And there was me thinking you just believed in democracy x.”
A third wrote: “Those marching today believe far more in a democracy than Brexiteers.”
A fourth continued: “Unfortunately it all counts for nothing, the vote is done – the countries leaving.
“Start to think to the future, as I don’t see the country falling apart at the seams as portrayed by David Cameron and the Tory party, as you’re undoubtedly affiliated too…”
Nigella did not respond to the comments on her post about missing the march.
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This was followed by another Twitter outburst, where she blasted Brexit supporters who adopted the “take back control” mantra during the Leave campaign.
In March last year, she wrote: “I just wonder, have all those take-back-controllers noticed that countries in Europe have been closing their borders independently,
“Almost as if they had control over them.”
Nigella was hit by a wave of criticism, including some who branded her post “offensive” and one user who wrote: “Think before you tweet.”
The remark was considered insensitive by some due to her making a spiky political comment amid the nation’s growing fears about coronavirus.
One user wrote: “Ms Lawson, really like who you are and what you do, but this is an offensive tweet.
“People voted to control borders because under EU directives the UK had no right to run background checks or control flow.
“The EU is ignoring the current national closing because it suits them.”
Another user, who sided with Nigella’s anti-Brexit views, called her out for choosing the wrong time to make such a statement.
They wrote: “I’m a Remainer but concerned about getting through all of this rather than trying to score points against Brexiteers. Please, think before you tweet”.
Another felt that it was “best to just delete” the post because it was “pretty poor taste to conflate coronavirus with Brexit”.
However, there was some support for her statement, including from one Remainer who accused some Brexiteers of “using the crisis as ‘proof freedom of movement is danger’”.
The comment was followed by: “Sometimes I despair when it comes to my fellow humans, I really do.”
Another wrote: “You can bet all the Brexiteers will be the first in a queue for a vaccine that is discovered and then manufactured in the EU. Hypocrites!”
A couple of hours after Nigella published her incendiary tweet, she apologised and retracted her statement.
She tweeted: “I’m sorry. Just thinking aloud. Probably unwise. Certainly ill-judged right now. Shouldn’t have.”
Since Nigella’s remarks, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the deaths of more than 109,000 people in the UK and three national lockdowns.
Nigella: At My Table airs at 7.30pm tonight on BBC Two.
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