The Week: Best of the blogs - Stay out of the TV kitchen

I've loved food TV shows over the years. But this weekend, following Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law boasting about the chef's £15 million-a-year earnings (£2 million of which apparently comes from Channel 4), I was left with the sense that something has definitely turned very sour.

It wasn't just the tedious, joyless hour of TV that was Channel 4's Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live on Friday night, nor the insensitive boasting about his wealth when everybody else is struggling to buy a can of beans (this egregious behaviour is what won Ramsay his fan base) that has turned me off.

There were other factors too. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall moving beyond parody in River Cottage Autumn didn't help and The Observer Food Monthly piece on ten years of the celebrity chef (Gordon, Jamie, Nigella et al all hit in 1998) was a reminder that a pile of old rope is being severely stretched by broadcasters.

I can't get Danny the Dealer's words in Withnail and I out of my head. Lamenting the end of the 60s, he opines: "They're selling hippy wigs in Woolworths, man. The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over."

A decade of modern TV chefery has degenerated into pastiche and substandard product so it just might be time for me to forgo TV chefs for something more productive. Ultimate Fighting on Setanta perhaps?

Darby on TV,


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