Purring and moaning -- Nigella is back at her best
"I CAN see victory ahead, but I don't like to jinx anything," declares Nigella Lawson at the end of the first episode of her new Channel 4 reality show 'The Taste'. Words drizzled not with extra-virgin olive oil, but deep irony. They were recorded when a new, rosier future beckoned for Lawson, after her very public divorce from Charles Saatchi.
But then came the fraud trial last month of her former personal assistants. Can her career survive these revelations?
'The Taste' is proof of the pudding. It's Lawson's first British television outing since the scandal.
In the US, where she is intent on establishing herself, the first series attracted mediocre viewing figures, but reviewers declared Lawson "charming and hot".
A second series began last week on the ABC network and had a rapturous response on Twitter, with users calling Lawson "the best thing about prime time".
'The Taste's' first UK episode, airs tomorrow night on Channel 4. But viewers can't taste caramelised tea-smoked duck breast on sprouts topped with pickled cherries. The show stands on the judges' charisma.
While Bourdain and Lefebvre posture and bicker, 54-year-old Lawson provides her customary sex appeal.
There are endless shots of her purring and moaning with her heaving embonpoint under a figure-hugging blue dress.
After another's mishap causes Lawson to spill sweetcorn down her cleavage, she reassures him: "You couldn't cope with the pressure, not everyone can."
On the basis of 'The Taste', Lawson's coping abilities are more than fine. (© Daily Telegraph, London)