Thursday, July 27

Food, glorious food

Mark Lewis watches Channel 4 serve up more food than an elephant's banquet

Thursday night on Channel 4 was food night. Which seems to be something of a theme, because Wednesday was also food night.

Never mind though, because Return to the River Cottage (Channel 4, 8pm) spurns any kind of food programme convention. Any element of trying to inspire viewers is discarded like stray bones from a locally caught pollock fillet, cooked with spring onions just picked from the garden and purple broccoli reaped as the camera man is setting up the shot.

Preposterous scarecrow, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (pictured) gently admonishes us for our failure to live like a country vagrant. Wankingstaw, who gets paid to live like a country vagrant, spends half an hour doing all manner of stupid things, but mostly teaching us to feel superior to country folk.

First up, Hugh Findus-Crispypancakes tries to deal with a rodent problem by calling in vegan mouse terminators, who try to persuade them to leave the cottage through the power of meditation. He repays them with a meal consisting mostly of hazelnuts, mud covered spinach, and slugs, which seemed like a fair deal.

Later Frisky-Wittgenstein would drive evil spirits away with apple pickers in the west country and make fresh fruit ice lollies to sell to bothered passers by in their cars like a windscreen washing gypsy, despite having a multi-million pound book deal and his own television programme.

The similarity with Jamie’s Great Italian Escape (Channel 4, 8.30pm) is uncanny. Last night Jamie Oliver stood on the Sicilian roadside selling sausage picante to hungry passers by. Only, despite out-countrysiding Fuckly-Wankerstick, Jamie cooked something we could aspire to, and didn’t make us want to hate him.

Incredibly, he also managed his mission to show those monks a thing or two about religion, re-grew what used to be the best herb garden in Italy and made some of the most sex starved men in the whole of Europe have some fun at last.

Farty-Workstop can barely persuade us to keep watching. Though he might, by feeding them his hazelnut and spinach surprise just be able to persuade people with Prader-Willi Syndrome not to eat. And that, as we discovered in Only Human: Can’t Stop Eating (Channel 4, 9.30pm) is a very difficult task indeed.

1 comment:

Richey Nash said...

I know someone with a Prada Willy. Not me though. I've got a Primark Willy: it's cheaper and shoddier. Because I know you're interested.