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Monday, 4 February 2013

Review: Food and Drink, BBC2

I've just finished watching the new, updated version of Food and Drink on BBC2. I'm underwhelmed. 


I remember (the later stages of) Food and Drink the first time round; Oz Clarke always being a tad too sloshed, Anthony Worrall Thompson's facial expressions knocking on the door of pervy, and Jilly, oh Jilly... Think of the shambolics of The One Show combined with the cosy familiarity of early Grossman Masterchef; it was charming and witty and comfortable. 

And any programme which was referred to as "the most disgusting programme on television" by Delia Smith has to be worth a watch, or twenty. 

So, although it was never a big ratings winner, the BBC revived it's peaceful corpse with everyone's favourite fantasy-uncle Michel Roux Jr at the helm. When I first heard the news I was quite chuffed. 

Then I watched it. 

The format is tried and tested and works well (recipe, VT , chatter, VT, recipe), but the production is too slick, too airbrushed (has Michel had his teeth whitened?), too insincere. 

It's a very personal thing but I despise those graphics which show words on-screen because they're faddy and distracting and were first pioneered on Hollyoaks FFS. At least they didn't include ridiculous QR codes as featured on Simon Hopkinson's The Good Cook or I'd have been forced to bring criminal charges.

This week's special guest was 2 Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge, a personal favourite of mine who I've interviewed in the past, but who was reduced to acting as Michel's commis. Why, oh why, bother bringing on a talent such as Kerridge if you're not going to get him to cook anything?!

I would discuss the new wine expert but she was instantly forgettable so I sort of can't. 

I might watch next week; the preview shows Mary Berry as the guest and they allow her to cook (BERRY BUT NOT KERRIDGE?). But if I miss it I won't be too disappointed. 

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