Posts Tagged ‘Gregg Wallace’

Celebrity Masterchef

July 10, 2008

Celebrity Masterchef is pretty much a miniaturised version of the original pleb-friendly version but with one major difference. These are celebrities, usually with expertise in a field such as television presenting, acting or sports, so they’re not expected to be particularly good at cooking.

Immediately, the pressure is off and Gregg and Johns’ constant inspirational patter becomes nothing more than hot air. After five or ten minutes, their passion about the whole affair becomes unintentionally amusing. Whether they fake their involvement – which borders on obsessive frenzy – or not, the fact that the celebs are there for the fee and couldn’t really care less reduces old John’s and squat Gregg’s involvement a little tiny bit. Which is a shame, as they’re probably the only decent TV judges in reality TV. They provide this thing called ‘constructive criticism’ which is all too rare in these kinds of competitions.

Last night in this weird two-shows-in-one-format they’ve chosen to put this out in, we had Michael Buerk, that toothy one from Atomic Kitten, Denise Lewis, some bloke from Brookside (the second some-bloke-from-Brookside in a week), the blonde one from Birds of a Feather who used to go on about ‘my Daryl’ and a TV presenter woman whose name I can’t remember. The latter managed to make ‘the worst thing I’ve ever tasted doing this show’ which was faintly amusing, while the rest made half-decent attempts. Apart from Michael Buerk, who is clearly going senile.

An unchallenging but entirely inoffensive hour of entertainment, but the aspect that keeps me watching when this is on has little to do with the format, the guests or the food itself. I find myself laughing out loud at the sheer amount of food Gregg and John stick on their forks and spoons.

It’s on tonight – make sure you watch as they load up their forks when it comes to testing time. On an average insertion they load up their mini-shovels with a kilo of fodder and then guide it in. Their faces turn vacant as they feed these gargantuan spoonfuls into their gaping maws and the moment of suspense – did they like it or not? – is built in the period during which they chew the gargantuan boluses in their fat faces. It’s really quite extraordinary.

But not quite as extraordinary as John Torode saying stuff like ‘Yes, he maaaay be a fantastic actor who can take on any role – but is he a master in the kitchen?’ when the clear answer is ‘No. That’s why he’s an actor’.


I really hope Andi Peters doesn’t win.

Masterchef. Full fat review

February 5, 2008


I fucking love Masterchef. I really do.

I hated the two presenters for years – making the show completely unwatchable – until, by chance, I caught sight of the bald barrowboy eating some pudding.

It was something about the way the food went into his mouth, the pause, the slow removal of the fork upwards and then the tentative chew that grabbed my attention. It was like peering into the very reaches of his soul. Then, like magic, his eyes lit up like limelight and grew to the size of Alan’s big plate. He began to moan softly, rhythmically, speech still evading him.

‘He’s going to ejaculate!’ I ruminated, frozen to the spot. Finally he spoke.

‘I like you’, he said to the plate and the contestant, ‘Oh! I do like you!’

The other bloke took some time to warm to, with his frog-like mouth and scowl he can flay a contestant with nothing more than an acid stare and condescending mutter, reducing a person to tears with a sardonically raised eyebrow, but if he likes the food every light in the world comes on. It’s fucking well-weird. Now I think he’s ace.

Masterchef is schadenfreude for foodies. In certain respect the dishes take a backseat, acting as a catalyst for the drama that is instantly realised from the opening titles. Chefs-to-be stand there looking visibly petrified while the two hosts bark out the rules without a shred of compassion; they don’t care if the cunts actually die right there on the spot. They walk among them like The Gestapo in a ghetto, jabbing at ingredients and interrogating them like sub human scum. Recipes are stuttered into the apparent which they deride with sarcasm and barely concealed hate.

The psychological pressure continues when contestants are verbally strapped down and beaten with demands on their loyalty to the food führer… ‘do you want this? Do you? Svinehund!’

But this is the genius of Masterchef, as the wheat is separated form the chaff we’re presented with genuine talent, those who overcome the pressure and prepare remarkable food that melts the hearts of the staff. Praise and encouragement appear in the equation, lifting the spirits -smiles appear, warmth emenates from the screen and all seems good in the world.

 Ahhhh, that’s better. I fill up.

But it’s not better. Someone has been naughty. The presentation of the grilled kneecap with bat-foreskin and regurgitated puy lentils in a faecal broth has made one of them angry. Very angry. The contestant starts to cry, the barrow-boy tastes, his face darkens like a thunderstorm approaching the Serengeti.

‘No, no no, this is wrong, very wrong’.

Now it’s frog-face’s turn. Wordlessly he turns and spits the food from his face like it’s a tramp’s turd picked off a dead pig.

‘I’m not eating that’ he says, his eyes glittering with death.

Puffy-eyed and red-faced, the contestant awaits their fate. Justice isn’t swift – they’re all made to stand in line for what seems like an age before being dismissed, cast out in the street like the food-killing fuckers they are…

Then again it switches. In the chaos a victor rises from the ashes. That one! I always knew it would be you! In the triumph of adversity one shall stand tall. The Staff applaud, they have been pleased, I too am at home sobbing for joy, I’m so happy. For once the barrow and the frog are like us. They have emotions, after all – are we not all mortal? Struggling with the baked bean can of life? Wrestling with the peel-off bit on top of the Pringles tube of existence. Are we not ONE?

Yes, until tomorrow that is, until tomorrow when some cunt decides to cook salmon with raspberry jam.