The worst British television programmes – number 1

Inspired by the Radio Times list I mentioned the other day I am collating my own worst British television programmes.  The first that springs to mind is from last year – Nigella, a chat show on ITV1.  In a now defunct expired and deleted blog last July I posted the following on NIgella.

Nigella . Nigella Lawson, celebrity cook, widow of the late John Diamond, and now married to one of the Saatchi brothers, was born with a silver dessert spoon in her mouth. An engaging manner in her Channel 4 programmes – where Nigella flirted shamelessly with cameramen as well as attempting to seduce vegetables, puddings, and the like led Nigella to break onto the daytime schedules on ITV. When I was a child this time of day was occupied by bad antipodean soap operas (The Sullivans, A COuntry Practice, Shortland Street) but now, thankfully, British TV produces its own tat. Nigella, dressed like a refugee from a 1950s American sitcom (or one of those Harry Enfield “Women, know your place” sketches) cooks for a guest. On the episodes I saw she has interviewed Terry Wogan, a man who manages to hog the camera even when inanimate through the sheer power of his Woganesque personality, and Stephen Fry. The interview involves killer questions such as “Do you enjoy cooking?”, “What’s your favourite food?”, “Can you name that blancmange?”, “What on earth possessed you, a person with a decent career, to appear on this godforsaken desert in the midst of daytime TV where people who respect you might see you and think you are in dire financial circumstances?” (Okay some of these may be made up). Nigella is wooden. Pre-watershed her customary props – drooling over a chocolate sauce, slowly licking her fingers while glancing coquettishly at the camera – won’t work. Even attempts to add extras to the format: Nigella as an agony aunt dealing with a viewer’s problem; her posse – an excuse to revive the careers of Libby Potter (former co-presenter of the late lamented BBC3 Celebdaq) or that woman that presented Carnal Knowledge are doomed. Nigella does not strike the viewer as the sort of person that would have a posse. NIgella cannot succeed. Do not be surprised if the show vanishes within a few weeks, shunted for the return of permatanned Des “Ronseal” O’Connor, and Melanie (no relation to Eric) Sykes.

As an example of the quality of the programmes this taster from a couple of weeks ago [start of July 2005] should suffice,

“On tomorrow’s show Nigella entertains classical singer turned sparkling popstress Charlotte Church. Aside from finding out what the party girl has been up to recently, Nigella will be asking her to get her hands on not Welsh beef (no, Gavin Henson won’t be there!) but Welsh lamb whilst making some delicious burgers. Times columnist Jonathan Gornall and Mail journalist Jaci Stephens will be on hand to talk about the latest Nigella Poll which looks at the British view on soul mates. Do they exist? Do we believe we’ve met them? And if we have, are we still with them? Everyone will be joining in the Handbag Game – where you have to try and guess whether one bag costs less or more than the previous one. Today it’s Mock Crocs – the bags that everyone will be dancing round this Autumn. But can you really tell the difference between a twenty pound bag and a six hundred pound one? To end the show, Nigella will be surprising ten lucky audience members by giving them a fantastic limited edition Lavender Kitchenaid and she will be cooking a wonderful Summer Pudding – a combination of soft fluffy cream, crunchy meringue and strawberries. Mmmm!”


Funnily enough the British public – showing their 2005 discernment (cf Celebrity Wrestling) – hate it.

The past few months have not been good for the Lawson family. Poor Dominic was ousted from the Sunday Telegraph and now Nigella is flatlining on ITV. Connoiseurs of the truly atrocious must watch now before it is too late and here’s hoping Nigel and the rest of the family is in good health. Bad things come in threes after all.

There is some rubbish on daytime television.  But the sheer ineptitude of the show – coupled with the general ITV output at the time (and since) meant that for me this ranks in the bottom 10 of British TV shows.

I’ll post on other awful shows as time and inclincation permit.

About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
This entry was posted in nigella, really really bad television shows, television, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The worst British television programmes – number 1

  1. tanngrisnir says:

    Crikey. I am very glad I missed that prog.

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