Monday, March 10

Reviews: Delia, and The Fixer

Back once again for the renegade master. Delia's back and she's as sexy as ITV's new primetime drama, says Mark Lewis

Slap a food ASBO on her crazy ass, she done gone completely mental.

So crazy in fact that the trailer to her new programme (a programme itself so crazy and sexy it can’t even be bothered with a proper name) is set to the tune of Renegade Master.

On Planet Food Cookery Programmes, Delia (Monday, 8.30pm, BBC2), which seeks to take the pain out of cookery by using packaged ingredients, stands up to the billing with sultry assurance.

Delia was always a matronly sex symbol, her homely recipes winking with vague suggestion at our unrequited lust. These days she’s too wanton for proper recipes. She sluttily throws around ready made tubs of cheese sauce and frozen mashed potato - tickling our betrousered nutsacks like some Oedipal egg whisk.

“I want to hear you slurp,” she growls to the cameraman with a bowl of cold soup. She beckons us into her garden shed, dismissing the paraphernalia of 30 years worth of cooking as casually as she fingers the oily grills of cookery novices. “There are other things apart from food,” she winks.

“It’s quite naughty in a way,” says food writer, Nigel Slater, with Carry On innuendo… “there is a certain amount of permission from headmistress”

Ooh, that’s right you naughty girl, allow us to use that ready made tinned mince!

If only. In the real world, Delia is as renegade as a Community Support Officer. Far from horny Bravo watchers, Delia is aimed at women who are afraid of fish skins. Just because she has done away with a surname, she hasn’t suddenly become Madonna. And aside from her legendary bitchiness, (which saw her proclaim she couldn’t stand “poncey food” over a cutaway of Rick Stein’s latest cookery book), and that time she had that ‘letsbeavinyou’ drunken episode at Norwich City, she is as interesting and sexy as Trisha.

Over on ITV, Andrew Buchan was being equally sexy in The Fixer (9pm).

The programme, from the same stable as Spooks and Life on Mars, is supposed to be daftly entertaining. Perhaps it is. But, with a set-up as clunky as a public teenage kiss, suspending disbelief becomes faintly painful.

For the record: The Fixer’s sister was raped and abused by her aunt and uncle. He killed them. He went to prison. He was released on the condition that he killed someone else for some reason. But it’s alright he was a bad guy. Now the Fixer is being made to keep on killing bad guys by some menacing Scottish bloke. He would rather not do it; rather go to prison. “Promise me you won’t go away again, I need my brother back,” says his sister in an unrelated scene. Think of your sister man!

He is supposed to have the same dark morality as HBO’s serial killer, Dexter, with the same brooding charisma. Unfortunately, Buchan is less Byronic anti-hero than sulky teenage pouter.

At least he is more renegade than Delia.

1 comment:

Jeff999 said...

That Rick Stein shot was a gratuitous insult.

I thought that he didn't like poncey food either! I think I'll kill myself