The bizarre tale of Fanny Cradock, Britain's famous and maligned TV chef from 50s to the 70s.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Johnnie Cradock
...
Derek
Steven O'Neill ...
Simon
Phil Nice ...
Technician
Jordan Long ...
Gas Fitter
...
Director
Simon Greenall ...
TV Executive
...
Floor Manager
...
TV Executive's Wife
Nicholas Burns ...
Christopher
...
Nicky
...
Jane
...
Dan Farson
Nathan Shomer ...
Julian
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Storyline

In the black and white days of post-war British television, Fanny Cradock, with her painted-on eyebrows and excessive make-up, is a colourful figure in every sense, even dyeing the food to make it show up on monochrome sets. But she is also something of a tyrant, disowning her son Chris because she disapproves of his wife, so that even her long-suffering husband and co-presenter Johnnie is powerless to intervene. Fanny's come-uppance comes about when she belittles a competition winner over her choice of menu in a television reality show. Audience disgust at Fanny's over-bearing treatment of Devon housewife Gwen provokes such a backlash that the television company sacks her. After Johnnie's death, she ends up as a resident, still trying to order the cooking, in a retirement home. Written by don @ minifie-1

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23 October 2006 (UK)  »

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Saved by Julia Davis
25 October 2006 | by (Somerset, England) – See all my reviews

This interesting, if rather boring, piece of nostalgia was rescued by the two central performances. Julia Davis, as the awful Fanny Craddock and her much put-upon sidekick Johnny (Mike Gatiss) provided astonishingly accurate portraits of the first TV chef and partner - reviving memories of those terrible TV programmes with their disgusting concoctions. After her triumphs in 'Nighty Night', Julia Davis now shows us a very different virago.

The private life of the two central characters was less interesting. Apart from allusions to Fanny's rather more adventurous past and her seriously unpleasant tantrums and manipulations, there wasn't much to make a full-length drama from. The other members of the odd household paled into insignificance alongside Fanny. So much so that the later part of the drama was enlivened only by a cameo from the Benny Hill Show! But there really wasn't enough meat to justify this bio-pic of an unpleasant and rather disturbed woman.


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