Monday, January 01, 2007



In 2007 I hope to do two things, firstly move to the new blog format. I haven’t checked what the score is just yet but am sure will be worth it. Looks like there is a click and drag facility, thank fuck for that.

The copying and pasting as couldn’t drag the respective pictures to the accompanying text has been a nightmare at times.

As well as that I also want to focus on Doctor Who stories when shown in the spring and review them without, and I repeat, without, spoiling it for those outside the u.k.

I will tease terribly but won’t spoil much. However those that want very little to do with the reviews as want the opportunity to find it all out for themselves then go away elsewhere or try to avoid them.

Yule viewing this year has been shite as usual, currently, and for the past two years, I have favoured ‘selective’ viewing where I watch film, retro television, catch up with the news via the web and watch the odd programme on DVD that I have recorded a while back. To rely on the mainstream for decent entertainment is just nigh on impossible, and always will be.

I did try, I believe it was Christmas Eve, to watch in ‘real time’ what the channels had to offer and found the whole thing a traumatic experience resulting in a screaming headache and delirium induced by hyper active imagery.

BBC4 go to the top of the class – you saved my viewing life! Not only did you treat us to an M.R James adaptation, the excellent ‘Number 13’ but showed Fanny Cradock at Christmas as well.

Whether you think of her as bastion or bitch, I can honestly say I learnt more from her over 5 shows than any current cookery programme rammed down our throats.

The differentiation between then and now is as far as I can tell lies purely with the ego.

Whether Fanny is acting or not, she cared about the audience and was more ‘personal’, cosier and focussed on what would be easiest way for us to create a recipe and of course, the food.

Currently, I am in no doubt that all TV has become is a haven for chefs to do rain on parade. They seem to be more obsessed with personality upstaging than how tall a soufflé will rise.

Whether catty troll Worrell-Thompson who I cannot stand or Ainsley-Harriot camply gurning and buffooning in the kitchen all these displays are not for the benefit of the viewer but more for their egotistical ends and of course how much money they can drain from the licence fee . Food is second best for the modern chef as long as the limelight is on them.

Gordon Ramsey is an exception and although I can’t handle Jamie Oliver he still provides some interesting information about the food he’s cooking, he’s also saved a few potential coronary cases in the process.

The rest are prima donnas, I wish would vanish from the media altogether. I am interested in the history of the dishes I am cooking, the best wine to drink with it, tips and ideas to save time etc. I am not interested in ponce and the whole ‘I am more likeable than you; buy my range of shit for sale’.

I suppose with Fanny she already new she had personality and charisma by the bucket load with her contemporaries they tend to have to ‘manufacture’ their image so all we get is falseness and ‘family friendly’ pretence as beneath the scripted banter and staged antics they are seemingly quite dull things in reality.

Fanny was pretentious but never pretended she was anything else. What you saw is what you got and the same goes for her cookery too. Cradock, I feel, cooked because she genuinely had passion for the subject and I feel, although it no doubt brought in a lucrative income, this shows.

Fanny did it for, first and foremost, passion for the skill where she had become master, modern chefs do it for their own wallets firstly, their image secondly and the cooking comes later on somewhere.

I understand Hugh Fernley Wittingstall mocked her techniques at flamboyancy stating it was borderline pretence and ludicrousness. This is from the man that cooked a placenta and eats it; give me blue egg canopies not a fistful of afterbirth any day. He’s another annoying wannabe and is unaware how generally piss offable his o.t.t excitement is.

If you missed Fanny Cradock cooks at Christmas then you missed a real retro treat.

The purity of basic, good cooking has been ‘glamoured’ by vulgarity. So despite the date of 1975 and brandy butter being vibrant green, and real cream being used (!!) it was refreshing to see a programme that was so absorbing.

Fanny was fascinating herself to watch, anyone capable of cooking under hot boiling lights in an evening dress and still is seen to be smiling at the end of it deserves kudos by the vat load.

I wish they’d scrap the modern cookery programmes and repeat these old ones, more eggs – fewer egos please.

The other exception to the overall tinselled tat was the Yule special episode of Doctor Who…….

This is where we finish this section of blog history and start anew, I hope this transition will be with ease as I am always dubious about changing things and then being disappointed, but it will be worth it for 2007.

Thank you for reading this in the past and for all your lovely comments, can I wish everyone a sterling 2007 and hope it brings peace, prosper and pleasure.

As soon as I have a ‘play’ and get started I will let you all know on this space. The retro TV strand will continue but will evolve and change.

How we started with sword and sandal and end up with celebrity chefs is beyond me but goes to show the diversity that this blog will always champion for.

Here’s to another 12 months……………………….

Fringe Fantasy Film Show x x x


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