Nigella Lawson today
The television Chef Nigella Lawson, who is 54, is the daughter of former politician and senior Conservative Government Cabinet Minister Nigel Lawson. She has in recent times famously had to quickly learn to emulate the thick skin British politicians acquire from necessity in order to survive in British politics.
However even she has limits, and Nigella Lawson broke down in tears last week on British comedian Michael Mcintyre’s new BBC chat show, to be aired Monday night, when she admitted her recent troubles felt like she had “lost a layer of skin” She then added “If the major thing in your life is what people who don’t know you think then you are living your life wrong.”
The television Chef was asked by Mcintyre about her marriage break-up from the allegedly bullying Charles Saatchi, and also about the court case against her former personal staff, where she testified she had on limited occasions had resort to cocaine to get through difficulties she was facing.
In response Lawson said she would rather be “idiotic” in life than be “too guarded”.
Mcintyre also asked how she felt about it all now, several months later and Nigella said to him, “I’m alive and I’ve found somewhere to live. I have had better times; it is spring and I am feeling better and I am very happy to be here. I have been alive for longer than you so I know life has its dips and it can get better and you can’t fight it.”
Then Mcintyre asked about all the public support she has received in the nine months since photos went viral of Saatchi gripping her throat in a restaurant, and she responded simply, “I try not to live in the public sphere very much. You have your own life and you are the person inside; I really think if the major thing in your life is what people who don’t know you think then you are living your life wrong.”
“I’m not particularly guarded and I say and do some things I may regret later.”
“But I would rather embarrass myself and be a bit idiotic sometimes than spend my whole life worrying about what people think.”
Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi in better times / Getty
Gorgeously attired in a tight fitting check frock, and also fresh from appearing as a fashion goddess on the Cover of Vogue UK this month, for whom she has had a regular cooking column since 1995, Nigella then wiped tears from her eyes and spoke of the intense media scrutiny she had gone through
“I’m not an innocent, I understand how it works; I just don’t involve myself. I don’t speak and don’t comment. I could say things and be indiscreet but I don’t want to.”
“The real truth is if you don’t read things and don’t get too involved it doesn’t enter your bloodstream. If it doesn’t enter you bloodstream you are not contaminated.”
“What I have found is it has given me a far too sensitised reaction to newspapers. We all like gossiping in our own lives so I don’t take a lofty view. I just perhaps feel having had a layer of skin removed I am more sensitive to other people’s fortunes.”
Nigella did admit though that when she was house hunting recently she did check all the kitchens to see if her cookbooks were there on any of the shelves.
She also admitted she flew into rages when she was hungry, saying: “My agent says for women hunger is an emergency; if I am not full I am both murderous and suicidal.”
You can watch the full Nigella Lawson interview on the Michael McIntyre Chat Show on BBC 1 on Monday night at 10.35pm.
About Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lucy Lawson, 54, is the daughter of Nigel Lawson the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer and Vanessa Lawson, née Salmon, of the Lyons food business.
The Lawsons were originally Jewish immigrants from Latvia who came to England early in the twentieth century and change their names from Leibson to Lawson.
Nigella graduated from Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford and started her career as a book reviewer and restaurant critic. She later became a freelance journalist and published her first cook book in 1998. Called How to eat it sold over 300, 000 copies and firmly established her distinguished culinary career since then of books and her own quite distinctive television shows.