LUV - Saturday Kitchen is brilliant. It’s absolutely brilliant and I will not hear a word against it. End of story. That’s how this site works, right?
Fine. I suppose if you want REASONS why spending every Saturday morning in a souring bed, watching a shark-eyed man in a peach-coloured shirt chiding minor celebrities for julienning vegetables incorrectly isn’t the epitome of civilisation, then FINE.
I’ll give you reasons.
1. James Martin’s way with people
I don’t know why I enjoy watching chillingly avuncular TV chef and northern lothario James Martin interact unsuccessfully with human beings, but I do, very much. Too much.
Watching him greet his guests – no matter who they are – with a smile that says “you’re late” makes me smile. Watching him visibly bristle if the guest is an attractive male makes me clap my hands with joy. When asks female guests questions about their careers then, as they start yawping self-consciously about how they “gave life to a role”, suddenly starts barking CHOP THOSE NOW and DON’T LET THAT OVERBOIL at them until they cry, I roll around giggling like a toddler.
I realise that this says more about me than James Martin. I think it might be some sort of problem.
2. Rachel Khoo
If you find the excerpts of Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen so twee that your jaw starts to hurt, just do what I do – tune out until she’s stopped saying actual words and is just emitting a series of adorable clicks and trills and coos. And then you can pretend that Zooey Deschanel and Pikachu got married, and that this is a stop-motion Claymation show about their daughter.
3. The Wine People
Who are these jolly, intrepid people they dispatch off to Lidls in Basingstoke and the really crap Waitrose in Bracknell town centre to find wines for the dishes they cook on the show? Why are they never in the studio? Why do they raise a glass to the chef at the end of their desperate little comedy vignettes? Why is there such fear in their eyes? WHAT AREN’T WE BEING TOLD? It’s a mystery.
4. The Celebrity Masterchef Voiceover Woman
She is Liv Tyler’s whispery elf from Lord of the Rings and I claim my five pounds.
5. Sally Field
Last week, the actress Sally Field was due to be a guest on Saturday Kitchen, but she got stuck in the snow on the way to the studio. So they just got some bald bloke in a grey jumper to stand in for her, and addressed him as Sally Field for the entire show, THEREBY WINNING MY RESPECT.
6. I’m tired on Saturday mornings, okay?
With its nice food, chef bonhomie, and gentle joshing with guests, Saturday Kitchen is a an endearing, undemanding start to the weekend. It’s basically Take Me Out for the morning-time, before your tolerance levels for fake tan and bullshit are at full capacity.
HAT - Saturday morning TV was fun once. There were shows where you could phone up popstars and call them wankers. There were adverts for toys, marketed so aggressively that your parents invariably ended up feeling like miserable failures because they couldn’t afford to buy them for you. There was The Raccoons, which made you sad even though you couldn’t really pinpoint why.
Now, though, Saturday morning telly is SHIT. And you know whose fault it is? It’s all Saturday Fucking Kitchen’s fault. Once there was Muppet Babies, now there’s a fat dead-eyed bloke with a shit haircut pointing at some meat and nodding at it like it’s the lost temple of fucking Akhmim. IT’S NOT THE LOST TEMPLE OF FUCKING AKHMIM, YOU DOZY WAZZOCK, IT’S JUST SOME FUCKING MEAT.
If you’ve never seen Saturday Kitchen, then a) know that I would happily trade lives with you, even if you’re covered in sores and smell like cat food, and b) here’s what happens in every single poxy bloody shitting episode of it:
1) James Martin turns up in some sort of horrific pastel-coloured sweater and doesn’t immediately set himself on fire out of shame.
2) James Martin asks a visiting chef what they’re cooking and then - regardless of what they tell him - looks at the camera, makes a funny face, says “Beef and chips, then”, pulls another funny face and then pauses for a moment, knowing that if anyone used the same reductive tactics to disparage any of his accomplishments, he’d crawl away and roll around miserably in his own fecal matter for a week.
3) A 50-year-old man rings up and asks James Martin how best to cook fallow venison, even though GOOGLE EXISTS NOW YOU PREENING SHITBAG WHY DON’T YOU JUST LOOK IT UP ON GOOGLE INSTEAD OF GOING TO ALL THE TROUBLE OF LITERALLY RINGING A NATIONALLY BROADCAST TELEVISION PROGRAMME? IS IT BECAUSE YOU CRAVE ATTENTION? IS THAT IT? IS THAT HOW IMPOSSIBLY EMPTY YOUR LIFE IS? JUST GOOGLE IT NEXT TIME, JEREMY CONSTABLE FROM SHROPSHIRE OR WHATEVER YOUR FUCKING NAME IS.
4) A segment of a Rick Stein television programme that consists of nothing but Rick Stein going to another country and then saying “Isn’t it a shame that we don’t do this in Britain? Isn’t it a horrible shame? I hate Britain BUT I REFUSE TO LEAVE IT BECAUSE SECRETLY I HATE MYSELF.”
5) James Martin cooks some food while interviewing someone from Casualty who he either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about, by reading out questions and then rendering their answers meaningless by deliberately switching on a blender whenever they start talking.
6) The Omelette Challenge, where visiting chefs have to make something that looks like a xenomorph’s afterbirth in six seconds while James Martin reads out exactly the same egg-based puns as he does every single week and the crew has to groan at every single one of them like they do every single week because they know that, if they don’t, James Martin will do everything in his power to make the rest of their lives an impossible labyrinth of misery.
7) You realise that it’s 11:30 and you’ve just spent another precious 90 minutes of your life actively hating something that you could have just as easily ignored and that, by doing so, you’re effectively just as bad as Rick Stein; the man who you have implausibly started to hold up as a totem of everything that’s ever been wrong with the world. Damn you Saturday Kitchen. Damn you to HELL.
So, in short, no.
- Stuart Heritage
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