22 Apr


Saturday Cookbook is just fucking weird. ITV’s stab at getting the early doors Saturday Kitchen ‘market’, it’s on at the frankly unpleasant time of 8.25am, with Nadia Sawalha and Mark Sargeant, a Michelin chef but with the demeanour of… well, a Saturday morning TV host, really. He’s arrived.

From the opening, stagey, yes-we’re-really-here-drinking-tea-right-now onward, it’s an awkward television exercise. The format is a straight rip of of SK, with really basic GSCE Home Economics recipes, but the producer has decided to distinguish it from the BBC rival with seasick handheld camerawork (WHY?), constantly cutting to close-ups of faces (WHY?), crap sound, shitty graphics and deciding to ignore blatant innuendos rather than celebrating them – Harry Hill would tear this to shreds. The special guest is ‘chef’ Aaron Craze, proper-tat-geezer who occasionally interjects with “Gotta say you’re lookin’ fresh!” and the like. Nadia Sawalha looks happily confused as the lay sleb, breezily dropping in what she reckons at every opportunity.

There’s a clunky ‘what’s in your shopping trolley’ bit (with a real trolley), as guest Fay Ripley tries to squeeze her cheery, healthy schtick past Sawalha’s Partridgisms, then some more just-splodge-it-around cooking before Aaron Craze turns out an everyman mixed herb and nut pesto which is actually pretty interesting.

The whole thing appears to be put together with the cheapskate, oh-fuck-it-they’re-idiots grace characteristic of off-peak ITV these days. I know it’s not aimed at me, and not every food show requires Pierre Koffman cranking up the sous vide to get me going, but the game has changed, sorry. Must try harder.



Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “EARLY

  1. Fanny

    April 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Man, I need to leave the comfort of the BBC & Good Food Channel – I don’t actually watch anything on ITV! Was Fay Ripley ever on MC? She’s suddenly all about the food, or have I missed something. I enjoy her voice overs though.

    Aaron Craze, yeah – he’s still doing the Jamie Oliver thing circa 1999. His own show has good food but so cringey (doing nibbles & sharing dishes for a lads poker night etc).

    I will definitely give this a whirl as I’m a big Mark S fan. Wasn’t there a short lived ITV SK show with Antony W-T?

    • DJ Blast Chiller

      April 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Yeah, ‘Saturday Cooks!’ was what happened when AWT leaped over the BBC perimeter fence taking the ‘Kitchen’ production co with him. Think it lasted less than a year – I reckon this is mainly cos people watch SK for the archive bits which ITV didn’t have.

  2. Fanny

    April 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    & we all know how things ended up for AWT …

  3. Fanny

    May 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I watched last week’s with the lovely Dick Strawbridge – my god, does Nadia always present like that? I’m not a child you know. They’re still doing the awkward standing-with-mug routine & the actual recipes weren’t very impressive. However, they were my level of cookery so I guess I need to work out whether I want to be impressed by a ridiculous recipe being made or happy in the knowledge that I could make that cauliflower cheese. Well, somewhere in between I guess – never happy, eh?! I notice they’re repeating Raymond’s Kitchen Secrets. Are you EVER going to make a bloody chocolate CUP & FILL IT WITH MOUSSE???


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