In a world of celebrity where no-one famous appears on any medium without having something to plug, the current series of A Taste Of My Life on BBC2, fronted by the god-like Nigel Slater is an oasis among a sea of mediocrity and vapidity.
The format is very simple. Nigel Slater talks to someone famous about their life and the food they remember from certain periods of it.
There’s a bit of cooking, but nothing as serious as full-on recipes, and a little bit of video footage of friends and family to break up the show, but to all intents and purposes, this is just Nigel and A. Celeb yakking about food and their memories of it.
What makes the show so brilliant is that most of the famous people talk about things that we can all remember from our own childhoods and younger days: lemon meringue pie, Angel Delight, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, vegetable curry, tuna pasta.
Slater himself initially seems a bit of a bumbling interviewer, but actually he’s superb at coaxing out little nuggets of gold simply by being passionate himself about similar experiences from his own childhood.
This series has included gems from people such as Tamsin Greig, Jo Brand, Denis Lawson, Sue Johnston and Meera Syal – not always people you’d instantly be interested in, but the show makes them interesting and you get some sort of insight into their lives that most interviewers (be it print or TV) never manage to show.
The joy of the iPlayer means that there’s still a chance to catch up on some last week’s episodes you may have missed, so please do yourself a favour and have a butcher’s.