TELEVISION cook Nigella Lawson has been invited to apply for a visa to travel to America just days after she was stopped from flying to Los Angeles.

The 54-year-old was prevented from boarding a flight at Heathrow on Sunday, apparently as a result of comments she made about taking cocaine while giving evidence during the trial of her and ex-husband Charles Saatchi's personal assistants.

But the US embassy in London said she had now been invited to apply for a visa and promised the matter could be "handled routinely and expeditiously".

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An embassy spokeswoman said: "There are several ways of legally travelling into the United States. We understand she has professional requirements for US travel."