There are teachers who, on your first day in their class, think it’ll benefit you massively if they act as though you’re already an advanced student. Thus, in your first ever French lesson Monsieur Higgins will regale you with an anecdote on how he refitted the bearings on his bicyclette and expect you to respond in kind. The PE Teacher will throw you into your first ever 11-a-side comptetive match as central defence and berate you when you prove hapless as you try to block the opposition’s christmas tree formation.
These teachers – who think putting you in a completely impossible position, watching you flail, rescuing you and mocking you for your lack of ability is an apt substitute for actual teaching – are bastards.
Marco Pierre White is one such teacher. Last night, he chucked his new staff of celebrities, has-beens and who-the-hells into an overlit kitchen and expected perfection, then gave his charges a subtle earful when they didn’t oblige.
Still, a bollocking from M. White isn’t half what it might be coming from one of his ex-students. Gordon Ramsay appears to have absorbed all that is negative from White – every poisonous mannerism and inflection – and nicked it wholesale for his own act. But where Ramsay is a hopeless joke of a man, an instant parody of himself with a routine that was starting to run thin five years ago, White himself is actually a balanced beast and often comes across as a wholly likable bloke. If only he’d stop wrapping those enormous Palestinian keffiyehs round his insane haircut.
Claudia Winkleman hosts, now ubiquitous to the point of omniscience. She takes over from the over-cynical Angus Deayton and injects a good dose of bland where old Ang’ only offered the viewer mockery for even watching in the first place.
Following last night’s episode, I’d be surprised if Winkleman’s make-up artist hasn’t been sacked as the treatment she appeared to have received at the end of an applicator brush made it seem she’d either been up all night weeping or was suffering from ocular hemorrhoids. It was difficult to look at her, full on, without feeling a twinge of unwarranted sympathy.
The show was uneventful, so let’s take a look at the contestants and their performance on the opening night of a show you won’t care about and probably won’t even catch in passing:
The most immediately recognisable, Ade is still the affable giddy goat with the posh voice and the nice line in fart gags. Burned his hand to a blister and didn’t moan much. I’ll only continue to watch if it can be guaranteed that he’ll win.
Apparently an actor from Shameless, a show I’ve historically been told off for when admitting I’ve never watched it.
Christ – where’s she been? A definitive case of ‘whatever happened to?’, Ms. Dynamite appears having spent the last five years hidden in a shed.
That cheating goalkeeper with the moustache who wobbles about when he’s defending a penalty. Remained anonymous.
Grant Bovey and Anthea Turner
Appearing as a couple but not cooking together, Anthea Turner is Anthea Turner whilst her husband continues his campaign to prove himself Britain’s most tedious arsehole.
American actress best known for Dynasty, Evans fell into default American-in-British-reality-show setting and remained statue-still whilst looking startled for the duration.
Lingerie model and wife of Gary Lineker. Very clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but very presentable. White immediately made her his right hand girl – so Lineker beware.
The latter two lost last night’s invisible challenge. Their punishment, as it turns out, will be that they’re out of the kitchen and waiting tables in the next episode.
Oh, the indignity.