Pro-hunting TV chef dies

  • TV cooking star and hunting supporter Clarissa Dickson Wright has died aged 66.

    Miss Dickson Wright, who had been “unwell for some time” according to her agent, had stayed in Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary since January.

    She died on Saturday (15 March).

    The former barrister was an outspoken campaigner for rural life and supported the Countryside Alliance. She claimed that the BBC dropped her controversial series, Clarissa and the Countryman, in 2003 for being too pro-hunting and upsetting the then prime minister Tony Blair.

    She was prosecuted for hare coursing alongside trainer Sir Mark Prescott in 2007. They were both absolutely discharged after pleading guilty at Scarborough Magistrates Court in 2009, with the judge ruling that the interpretation of the Hunting Act was unclear at the time of the offence.

    At 21, Miss Dickson Wright — most famous for starring in the BBC Two cooking series Two Fat Ladies with the late Jennifer Paterson — became the youngest barrister to be called to the bar. But that career came to an end due to a well-documented battle with alcohol, after which she moved into the catering industry. She had been tee-total for nearly 27 years.

    She also starred as a gamekeeper in an episode of sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.

    Her agent said in a statement: “Loved dearly by her friends and many fans, Clarissa was utterly non-PC and fought for what she believed in, always, with no thought to her personal cost.

    “Her fun and laughter, extraordinary learning and intelligence, will be missed always.”


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