Sauce-pot chef Nigella Lawson has caused a stir.
She was papped on a beach in Australia wearing what has scathingly been labelled a burkini.
The normally sexy cook was clad head to toe in a clingy black outfit, complete with hat. Only her face, hands and feet were visible.
And now everyone’s sniggered about the vanity of the woman. What was she trying to do, cover up her fat bits? Couldn’t she find a big enough bikini, then? Was she trying her damnedest to stay pale and interesting for her next TV appearance?
Hang on a minute. Surely this is the least vain thing she’s ever done. Something so extreme can’t have been lightly done. She would have known perfectly well she looked like a big black-pudding in her Shariah-compliant swimsuit, designed to protect the modesty of Muslim women.
Mightn’t it just be possible she was afraid of something far worse than flashing a dimpled muffin top. Like skin cancer?
She’d have good reason to fear the tumour-inducing UV rays on Bondi Beach. Her mother died of liver cancer when Nigella was 25. Her sister Thomasina died of breast cancer; her first husband, journalist John Diamond, died of throat cancer at the age of 47.
Quite enough to make you hyper-cautious, I’d say.