MEDIA: Taste of success for telly chefs in foodie takeover

The Teletubbies may be big, very very big, with the under 18s and merchandising managers of all ages everywhere, but perhaps the most influential people on TV at the moment - at least in the commercial sense - are the Telly Chefs.

The Teletubbies may be big, very very big, with the under 18s and

merchandising managers of all ages everywhere, but perhaps the most

influential people on TV at the moment - at least in the commercial

sense - are the Telly Chefs.



Cookery programmes on all channels will soon be rivalling comedy and

wildlife repeats in the schedule as cost-effective TV, because apart

from the vegetables, they cost hardly anything to make. It is even said

that some people are becoming so addicted to watching TV chefs that they

are being driven into sad binges - watching the Carlton Food Network

non-stop.



The cooks come in all shapes, sizes and colours and degrees of

eccentricity, but collectively they probably have more power to change

central components of social behaviour - what people eat and drink -

than Agricultural Secretaries.



This is even more true now, since T-Bone Cunningham decided to try to

match the political acumen of Mad Cow Hogg.



Foreign holidays and women’s magazines have played their part in the

national transformation of eating habits but it is the Telly Chefs who

can claim credit for making the food we eat ever more colourful and the

contrast between flavours ever more marked.



Marketing managers have not been slow to see the commercial potential of

the genre in shifting unusual foods off the supermarket shelves. Delia

Smith, apart from trying to rival Dickens as the Christmas author, just

has to mention on TV, in passing, dried cranberries or creamed coconut

for them to disappear from every shop in the known world.



The Telly Chefs have, however, risked demystifying themselves by

creating an illusion - that we could all do just as well as them in 25

minutes without getting the dishes dirty.



Until they eventually get rumbled I hold them partially responsible,

together with the present free-market, capitalist government we have

somehow got ourselves saddled with, for making it virtually impossible

to get into any decent restaurant these days - even on a Monday.



Thanks to Telly Chefs stirring up all this interest in eating it will

soon be like the bad old days of Eastern Europe where it took influence,

if not actually a bribe, to get a table.



Trying to get a restaurant table in a busy part of central London at

short notice is now more difficult than getting a complete set of

Teletubbies, unless you are prepared to eat at noon and promise to leave

by 1pm. Thank God for a nice quiet branch of Wheelers, where time has

stood still, where there are plenty of tables and the menu doesn’t seem

to have changed for at least ten years - and there is not a trace of a

Telly Chef or a Tellytubby in sight.



Surely it can only be a matter of time before they are taken over by

Rick Stein.



Raymond Snoddy is media editor of The Times.



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer