Drooling Idiots in Need of the Chop; Disaster Chefs ... Guy Grieve and Thomasina Miers in the Wild Gourmets
Byline: Jaci Stephen
Reality television was, and continues to be, a very packed bandwagonthat everyone still wants to jump on. Now, there is another that is filling upfaster than you can say 'save the planet': programmes about the environment.
As soon as people realised there was money to be made wittering on aboutrecycling and global warming, they barged to the front of the queue; the resultis programme after programme of scruffy people boring us senseless with talesof woe about how we are all doomed if we don't put an empty baked-bean tin inthe green rubbish bag. Where once the brown-rice eaters in strappy sandals wereconfined to small news items featuring them chained to railings and bumpers,now they are everywhere and fast becoming mainstream TV. God help us.
Inevitably, Channel 4, in its quest for ever more worthy causes, is snappingthem up, and The Wild Gourmets brought us two of the most irritating in theenvironment textbook so far.
Thomasina Miers is a cook who won Masterchef in 2005, and her companion, GuyGrieve, is billed as an 'adventurer'.
Their aim is to live entirely off the land for the next six weeks, picking andkilling whatever takes their fancy.
'We're going to find it, we're going to kill it, we're going to cook it and eatit,' said Guy. Then he took off his underpants to change into his swimmingtrunks and showed us his bum. To be honest, it was more information than Ineeded and put me off eating anything at all.
They began their culinary quest in Cornwall, where Guy showed us his tools,which included three different knives, a shotgun and 'at least two axes'. Whoon earth sets out for a day in the country with 'at least two axes'? One to doin the animals, presumably, and, I suspect, one for Thomasina, or 'Tommi', asGuy affectionately calls her.
I wouldn't trust myself to be within ten yards of her while I had an axe in mypossession. With her silly sequined gold hairband, she plays the girl slavingover the hot stove, while Guy goes off hunting - although she did join him fora rabbit and pigeon slaying, smugly announcing: 'Our teamwork has paid off.'Accompanied by the most irritating hillbilly type music throughout, the pairdrooled over the dishes they had prepared and even invited a couple of farmersto their camp, also to drool over it all and tell the wild gourmets howterrific they were.
But it's hard to see exactly what kind of appeal this series is going to have.
Given the choice between fluking for flatfish and a happy meal at McDonald's,the burger wins every time.
Hell's Kitchen was much more my kind of dining establishment, and I visited itduring the last few days of filming to sample the wares. The Californian wine -clearly a freebie donated to ITV - was disgusting, but the food, under chefMarco Pierre White, was superb (I went twice under Gordon Ramsay and it wasinedible).
Barry McGuigan and Adele Silva were worthy finalists, and McGuigan, who won,will doubtless now make a fortune from his special mashed potato.
It's been a great couple of weeks and I'm a bit lost in the evenings now.
Still, Silent Witness continues to serve up a carnivore's delight. …