The television producer who brought us Keith Floyd and Rick Stein now spills the beans. William Skidelsky tucks in
William Skidelsky writing in The Observer, Sunday 10 May 2009
The TV chefs of the 70s and early 80s were, on the whole, a pretty uninspiring bunch. There was Fanny Cradock and her ridiculous monocled husband, Major Johnnie. There was the wokwielding Ken Hom and the pompous, patrician Derek Cooper. Madhur Jaffrey introduced the curry powder-reliant Brits to fresh coriander and fenugreek, while Marguerite Patten was occasionally wheeled on to bang on about rationing. And then there was Delia, presiding in her matronly fashion over this motley crew, dispensing reassuring advice about Victoria sponges and gravy.
by David Pritchard
Floyd introduced an element of chaos, even danger, to proceedings, something which, Pritchard suggests, broadened the appeal of cooking shows, making them appeal for the fi rst time to men. "When Floyd came on to our screens," he writes, "he gave men a clear and open invitation to get into the kitchen and have a go for themselves. Forget about exact ingredients, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax."
Pritchard is well-placed to understand Floyd's appeal, because he played a large part in creating it. A long-serving BBC producer based in Bristol and later Plymouth , Pritchard first encountered Floyd at his restaurant, Floyd's Bistro, in the early 80s. Although their first meeting wasn't propitious – Pritchard was told to "bugger off" when he revealed that he worked in television – he soon talked Floyd into making a series about fish.