Delia Smith backing calls for more free school meals

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TV chef Jamie Oliver is backing the Feed the Future campaign for the service to aid 800,000 extra youngsters. England footballer Marcus Rashford also wants help to be expanded.

Delia, 81, said: “I heard Jamie on the Today programme and he was fantastic. He knows what he’s talking about. Marcus Rashford, also.” She told Radio 4’s The Food Programme: “If I could do something to help people to eat when they can’t afford to pay for the ­electricity to cook, it might be helpful.”

She said she only ever wanted to show people there was nothing to fear from making their own food. Asked if she’d succeeded, she said: “Maybe [for] a couple of decades, but not now. People are still afraid.” Despite her success in the ’70s and ’80s she was panned for not making showy dishes.

Delia said: “I got lots of ­criticism because I wasn’t in the in-crowd. One summed it up ‘like a Volvo, very reliable, but not very exciting’.”

“I had no ambition to be an Aston Martin.”