Nigella Lucy Lawson (born 6 January 1960) is an English journalist, cookery writer, and television presenter. She wrote a restaurant column for the Spectator before becoming deputy literary editor of the Sunday Times in 1986. She became, among other things, a newspaper-reviewer on BBC1 Sunday-morning TV programme Breakfast with Frost.
Following slots as a culinary sidekick on Nigel Slater's Real Food Show on Channel 4, she has fronted three eponymous TV cookery series broadcast in the UK on the channel: two series of Nigella Bites in 1999-2001, plus a 2001 Christmas special; and Forever Summer with Nigella in 2002, both of which yielded accompanying recipe books. She hosted a daytime TV programme on ITV1 in 2005 titled Nigella, in which celebrity guests joined her in a studio kitchen. The show was not well received by critics and ended after a short run. Besides her own cookbooks, Nigella is featured in Off Duty: The World's Greatest Chefs Cook at Home (2005). A third series called Nigella Feasts, based on her book Feast, debuted on the USA's Food Network in Fall 2006.
Her style of presentation is sometimes gently mocked by comedians and commentators (particularly in a regularly-occurring impersonation of her in the BBC television comedy series Dead Ringers) who perceive that she plays overtly upon her attractiveness and sexuality as a device to engage viewers of her cookery programmes, despite Lawson's repeated denials that she does so.
According to UKTV Food Lawson is worth in excess of £1.7 million. She was voted author of the year at the 2001 British Book Awards. More than 2 million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. She also has a profitable line of kitchenware, called the "Living Kitchen" range.
Her first biography, Nigella Lawson by Gilly Smith, was published by Andre Deutsch in September 2005, but was remaindered within weeks of release. However, a paperback edition, subtitled "A Very British Dish", was due to be published in the summer of 2006.
She took part in the third series of the BBC family-history documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, in an edition first broadcast on 11 October 2006. She traced her mother's side of the family (the Salmon (originally Solomon) family, owners of J. Lyons and Co.) to Ashkenazi Jewish ancestors in the Netherlands and the Rhineland of Germany. One of these ancestors, Coenraad Sammes aka Joseph, had fled to England to escape a prison sentence following a conviction for theft. Nigella was disappointed not to have Sephardi ancestry in her family.[Source: Wikipedia]