Delia Smith's role in teaching a nation how to cook was today recognised by the Queen as City's principal shareholder was awarded the CBE to add to her OBE.
The 67-year-old TV cook and writer described today's news as a “very, very great honour” but felt her work did not deserve such special recognition.
“I've been writing recipes for 40 years now and so I imagine it's recognition of that. It does feel special,” she told the Press Association, as she jouined the likes of the golfer Nick Faldo and the actor, Christopher 'Dracula' Lee in finding themselves with a date at the Palace.
It was, however, deemed to be a 'celebrity lite' honours list; both politicians and bankers were also notable by their absence.
“It's difficult for me because what I do – I write recipes and demonstrate them on TV – feels just like regular, everyday work. It doesn't feel like it deserves any special honour,” she added.
Delia Smith's books, including Complete Cookery Course and How to Cheat at Cooking, have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
As she revealed yesterday when welcoming new Canary chief executive David McNally to Carrow Road, she has been hard at work at a new book and TV series – both of which are designed to help tackle Norwich's on-going financial woes following their relegation into the third tier of English football.
McNally was quick to recognise the value of 'brand' Delia. This was, after all, a man who had cut his commercial teeth with such household 'brand' names as cosmetic giants L'Oreal and Max Factor – let alone the worldwide 'brand' that is Celtic Football Club.
The fact that he has Delia Smith, CBE, OBE, now stood at his side – her passion for the Canaries seemingly undimmed by events of recent seasons – was a big plus when it came to 'selling' the club to potential investors, existing lenders and future commercial partners, he said.
“It gives us a big advantage against other comparable football clubs, that's for sure,” said the former Fulham MD.
“Particularly to have such a well-known celebrity. But one who is absolutely passionate about her football club. And that gives us a real chance versus other clubs.”
In itself, it might not attract a better quality of player to the far end of the A11, but it might bring the kind of desperately needed commercial bucks to the party – money that can then, in theory, be re-routed into Bryan Gunn's playing budget.
“It will probably helps us more in a business sense than, if you like, in a sporting sense.”
That passion for her beloved football club was evident again in the official Press conference to announce McNally arrival at the helm following the exit of Neil Doncaster earlier this summer.
“It's been very, very tough,” she said, as the bitter aftermath of events at The Valley unfolded.
“There's been a lot of deep disappointment, but I'm that kind of person – I can't help it – I always think: 'Come on, there's a new challenge here!'
“Let's get back to the drawing board, let's roll our sleeves up and start again. And now, at this moment in time, I'm looking forward to the challenge.
“And I think in many ways it's probably done us good.”
Did she ever just want to walk away?
“No,” was the simple response. “I'm just absolutely batty.
“I love every minute of it. Whatever league we're in; whatever we're doing – I'll be going to watch Norwich play their football. Whatever happens.”
Of 984 people receiving awards this morning, 72% are described as those who have “undertaken outstanding work in their communities”.
They include Esme Maxwell, an information desk assistant at Belfast International airport, and Allan Sinclair, a funeral director from Snodland, Kent, who were awarded MBEs.
In the meantime, McNally – officially not due to start at his desk full-time until Monday, June 22 – will be keeping firmly abreast of the latest transfer goings-on at the football club.
The Coventry Evening Telegraph were mooting a possible Robbie Simpson plus cash swap deal for Northern Ireland international Sammy Clingan, while Sky Sports had the Canaries locked in a straight, two-way fight for Hartlepool's out-of-contract skipper Michael Nelson with Scunthorpe United.
The chance to stay put domestically and play Championship football or head south and stay in League One – albeit alongside his former Victoria Park coach Ian Butterworth – would appear to be the choice facing the 29-year-old this weekend.
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