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Fear of Fanny (2006)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 23 October 2006
The bizarre tale of Fanny Cradock, Britain's famous and maligned TV chef from 50s to the 70s.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fanny Cradock
Johnnie Cradock
Steven O'Neill ...
Phil Nice ...
Gas Fitter
Simon Greenall ...
TV Executive
Floor Manager
TV Executive's Wife
Dan Farson
Nathan Shomer ...


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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Not Rated


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Release Date:

23 October 2006 (UK)  »

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Off the mark
1 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

I've never had much of a clue what kind of person Fanny Cradock was off screen. On the surface, what bits and pieces I've seen of her TV show always made her seem very quick on her feet, somewhat posh in a calm, intimidating sort of way but most of all perfectly confident. Very little (if any) of that attitude is to be found in this film. Julia Davis comes across uptight instead of posh or intimidating, and constantly nervous and easily upset instead of calm and confident. (That includes the TV show segments so it's not a matter of the movie implying Fanny might have looked formidable on TV but was actually insecure and neurotic off camera.)

I just couldn't recommend this film - when even the obvious stuff is so far off base (whether that's on purpose or because Davis just couldn't pull off a proper Fanny is another matter), I simply can't lend any believability to the more complex parts that are meant to be dealing with the woman's private life and personality while not so subtly passing judgment on both every 20 minutes. 2 out of 10.

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