Tuesday 16 October 2007

reality check

There has been a continuing rumble in the press about the BBC hoodwinking us viewers in various ways; whether it's phone-ins, documentary editing or Alan Yentob pretending to interview people. But there is one programme which seems to be getting away with murder. I am speaking of the Domestic Goddess herself Nigella Lawson. Not only has she brought us a new series which seems to consist of her 'cooking' dishes like scrambled eggs and taking other food out of packets but we are asked to swallow this all down with a load of hokum which is supposed to represent a day in the life of Ms Lawson.

Are we expected to take seriously the idea that she is often to be caught slurping her breakfast smoothie (a strange concoction of frozen banana, coffee powder and chocolate) on the number 49 bus. I could be wrong, and it may just be the fact that she's independently wealthy and in a relationship with a millionaire, but she doesn't look like the public transport type to me. Last night we had her doing the ironing in order to avoid finishing the 'work' that was approaching its deadline. Just looking at the way she handled the iron made me worry for the designer top she was 'ironing'. Best of all though was the friend who called up distraught after boyfriend trouble and was invited round to Nigella's for some chocolate cookies. After they were made we saw her friend with 'tears' in her eyes declaring that Nigella was 'right, he's not good for me, but these are' as she reached for another cookie. Dear god, who was she, and how much was she being paid to provide this reality/insight/weirdness to the programme?

Nigella needs to realise that what we like about her recipes are the frightfully middle class ingredients she unearths for us, I love her simply for introducing the ras-el-hanout spice blend into my kitchen. I don't need to see her being 'real', if I want to chuck something together I'll watch Jamie lisping all over the place, and if she continues to embarrass her daughter on TV every week I'll be on to social services.


John Self 23 October 2007 at 08:43  

We love Nigella Express, especially for its brazen false representation of Lawson's lifestyle. Last night she had Alan Yentob round for dinner, which is probably the most realistic thing that's happened all series.

There was mild controversy (ie free pre-show publicity) about the fact that her kitchen as seen in the show is actually a studio mock-up of her real kitchen (a la Alan Partridge in Knowing Me, Knowing Yule). Tim Dowling in the Guardian pointed out that this is not the only deception the programme indulges in.

"Also, Nigella is not really flirting with you. She thinks you are beneath contempt. And several of the recipes are poisonous and may cause death."

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