Whilst the divorce of cooking superstar Nigella Lawson and British businessman Charles Saatchi may superficially be deemed a disaster, as with any story a positive outcome exists if one is willing to dig deep enough to find it. Instead of crumbling under the pressure, Lawson is using her divorce as fuel for a British comeback which sees her bringing her hit US cookery show, The Taste, to Channel 4.
The estranged couple hit the headlines with reports of violence and domestic abuse after Saatchi grabbed his wife’s neck on a restaurant terrace earlier in the year. Soon after, news of a mutual divorce agreement surfaced. Saatchi, 70, claimed that it was nothing more than a “playful tiff”, but accepted a caution for assault from the police.
It is easy to comprehend how both parties, as well as the media, may have viewed the events of the past few weeks as a major setback to their careers, as it is a societal expectation that a divorce represents regression and misfortune for those involved. However, they are proving that this is not the case, and that a divorce can also be seen as a positive.
Instead of sinking into an apparently awaited abyss of misery and despair, Lawson seems more determined than ever to expand and improve her legacy within the cooking industry. She already has an estimated £15 million fortune amassed from selling cooking books, her cookware range and from her television shows. Her return to British television therefore signifies a determined comeback from the queen of cooking. Lawson’s shows are currently watched by up to 3.3 million viewers, yet the new programme on Channel 4 aims to increase these figures and thrust her back into the forefront of British television and celebrity culture.
The Taste will see Lawson working alongside Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre, two high-profile culinary figures who currently work as judges on the US version of the programme. The head of formats at Channel 4, Dominic Bird, said that the show promises to be “a hugely exciting and compelling competition”, adding that he was “thrilled that Nigella is returning to Channel 4.” After her ‘quickie’ divorce, it is refreshing to see Lawson attempting new adventures rather than being hindered by her estrangement from Saatchi.
It will be the first time in a decade that the celebrity chef has returned to Channel 4, demonstrating a desire to progress in the face of her divorce and the news of Saatchi’s apparent abusive tendencies towards her. Lawson’s go-getter attitude is refreshing, as it shows that despite setbacks and perceived conceptions of how she should be acting, she is in fact proving herself to be a strong, independent woman whose ambition surpasses that of what is expected of her during these difficult times. It takes plenty of courage to pick yourself up after a fall, yet Lawson is showing that this is exactly what she is planning on doing.