Wednesday, August 03, 2005

There can never be enough food programmes?

Source: BBC website

Channel-hopping on a cold January evening in Edinburgh - if you can describe switching back and forth between BBC1, BBC2, ITV Scotland and Channel 4 'channel-hopping' - I came across some kind of food programme starring two middle-aged, beer-bellied, bearded English men, who were motocycling through Portugal and talking about food. The men - though neither looking particularly handsome - were really charming and sounded intelligent and fun. They were not chefs, but during the very laid-back and relaxed programme they were cooking up rustic and delicious meals on a beach or riverside. Not sure why, but I was totally captivated and hungry for more. I was rather annoyed that I had missed the beginning of the show, and very disappointed that I couldn't find it on TV following week - I had hoped that it's another regular food programme. But no..

Imagine my joy then when I spotted these two guys in The Independent last Saturday! The article by Indy's arts correspondent Louise Jury was called Move over, Nigella: TV's new chefs are hairy bikers. Turns out the guys are called Dave Myers (from Barrow-in-Furness, former furnaceman in a steelworks and now a make-up artist at BBC specialising in prosthetic limbs! He's also a keen sailor) and Simon King (from Newcastle upon Tyne, is an assistant film director). The episode I saw in January was a pilot for their new show, a cross between travelogue and a culinary programme, The Hairy Bikers. Apparently the public went mad and really liked it, so they've since been commissioned by BBC 2 to do a total of 12 shows, taking them to Portugal, Transylvania, Namibia, Mexico, Lebanon, Syria, Vietnam, Ireland among other places.

The first of the two Hairy Bikers' Cookbooks is due next Spring.

I'll be waiting. There can never be enough good food programmes..


Anonymous said...

Hi Pille!

I agree, there can never be enough food programs! ;-)

I love watching these kinds of shows -- even before I started to learn how to cook.

The gentlemen's show sounds like something that I'd enjoy watching. Too bad that they don't show it in my neck of the woods.

However, one British food program that they show here that I like is Gordon Ramsey's show, where he travels around England and helps owners of failing restaurants. It's fascinating for me to see what they are doing wrong and how he advices them to make it potentially successful. Sometimes the people take the advice and other times, they don't.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pille,
I couldn't agree more ;) Even if I try not to watch too much TV - food programms are an exeption! Seems like British TV offer a great variety - which we don't really have... OK, at least they broadcast Jamie O., but when they started to rerun his shows for the fourth (?) time, I gave up on it ;)

Pille said...

Hi Paz - I'm glad you agree. I don't actually watch so many food programmes nowadays than I used to. When I was still just a student (i.e. that's the last 4 years then), I watched Ready, Steady, Cook regularly for fun, but I'm hardly ever at home so early these days.
I try to catch Full on Food in BBC2 on Wednesday night (yesterday Heston Blumenthal was smoking scallops in lavender and ginger essential oils:). I liked Saturday's Kitchen, but it tends to be too early.
Gordon Ramsay's show Hell's Kitchen was indeed captivating - though it worried me a little that some kitchens were so careless with hygiene and served you microwaved food at exorbitant prices:(((
I try to watch Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigel Slater, Rick Stein or Nigella Lawson. But then there are other chefs (no names listed) that bore me to death in the telly - whereas their books aren't necessarily bad.

Hi Nicky - yep - Jamie Oliver is fun, but I can't imagine I'd want to see his programmes for four times either:) And are his programmes dubbed? I lived in Denmark in 1992-93, and watched German telly sometimes - I saw Elvis Presley "speaking" in German and it was hilarious:)
I enjoyed your recent piece on acting and cooking. I wish we'd get Bill Granger here (undubbed, please) - I got his Sydney Food book last week and it looks good.