05/12/2013 09:54 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 23:58 GMT

'Nigella Lawson Took Cocaine' Treated Like Piece Of History By The Press

The defiant stare, one iconic image, one glorious quotation. These are the kind of newspaper front pages usually reserved for moment a new prime minister enters Downing Street, when a country hosts the Olympics, or when a man walks on the moon. A front page that knows it is a piece of history.

This was the set of front pages on Thursday morning. But it wasn't the birth of a prince or the death of a president. It was a TV cook who took some drugs, a while back.

Every British newspaper in the country had that image of Nigella Lawson, clad in black, with pursed lips and sorrowful eyes, as their main image.

nigella lawson

Nigella Lawson, on the front page of every paper

The Mail, which devoted five pages of coverage, analysed every aspect of her "exquisitely crafted" look, her false lashes, her nude lips with the "barest blush" of colour.


As the columnist Sarah Vine put it, "Marie Antoinette couldn't have mustered more drama on her way to the scaffold".

Nigella front pages

Even papers such as the Independent and Guardian, which may not ordinarily have led their pages with the minor drug scandal of a cookery book author and her ugly divorce, put that image of Lawson on their front pages.

Perhaps because of the underlying horror of the first pictures - those of Charles Saatchi clutching his wife's neck in a London restaurant - which first thrust the couple's trouble relationship into the spotlight.

Though it is not even the couple who are the centre of the court case, but their two personal assistants, charged with fraud.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, and whatever the future holds for the now-divorced pair, one north London suburb, Stoke Newington, has already nailed its colour to the mast.*

*Though Lawson says, in fact, they're known as Team Cupcake.