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2 items from 2012

Is The Great British Menu the effing end of the rude television chef?

8 June 2012 8:12 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

With celebrity chef cooking contests such as Kitchen Wars turning into love fests, is anger no longer a recipe for success?

Marco Pierre White's new cookery contest show began last night. You may even have watched Kitchen Wars – although you probably didn't, because it was on Channel 5 and the world needs another cooking contest like it needs to be kicked in the jaw by a horse. But should you have flicked past it, you might have been surprised by the behavior of the host.

Ever since his first series of Hell's Kitchen on ITV – during which he responded to a lighthearted Angus Deayton quip by growling "Angus, the eyes you look at are the eyes that watched my mother die" – Marco Pierre White has cultivated a savagely aggressive persona, as if he desperately wanted to out-Ramsay Ramsay. But on last night's Kitchen Wars, that persona was nowhere to be seen. »

- Stuart Heritage

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Stuart Heritage's TV Od: The Great British Menu

27 April 2012 4:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

'Last week someone chopped up a pig's face and served it with ice cream'

Seven years in and the BBC still hasn't worked out what to do with The Great British Menu (Weekdays, 6.30pm, BBC2). Again and again it commissions a sackload of episodes, only to tuck them away on the fringes of visibility. It's the television equivalent of asking your son to draw you a picture and then pinning it to the back of the fridge because, secretly, you hate him.

It's unfair treatment. In roughly the same amount of time, MasterChef has transformed from a BBC2 runt into an Apprentice-sized megalith. For three months – the same time it takes you to travel a quarter of the way around the sun – you can't avoid Gregg Wallace slapping his belly, rolling his eyes and barking out a string of graphic sexual fantasies about trifle. The Great British Menu is easily just as gormless as MasterChef. »

- Stuart Heritage

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