Thursday, 6 December 2007

Nigella Express

There's something about Nigella Lawson that makes me want to poke my eyes out with needles. What pertains to be a cooking show, turns out to be 30 nauseating minutes of camera pouting food pornography, all set in Nigella's fabricated culinary world somewhere in Elsetree.

I've never really liked Nigella, but then again I've never really noticed her enough to want to write about her. In her earlier BBC days and her subsequent sojourn on Channel 4, her style seemed to be fairly straightforward and Deliaesque. Nothing outrageous, no idiotic Jamie catch phrases or happy slapping facial expressions; she was just a middle-aged woman talking to the nation about the banal practicality of food.

But something has happened. It's like she has been getting tips from a homosexual fashion designer on how to look into and away from camera. Every comment will be followed by a moronic smile, which makes her look like a kind of ridiculous caricature of herself. Every food fact will be accompanied by smug raising of the eyebrow, which makes you want to vomit into the bowl of mint white chocolate mousse that she has just prepared.

And then there's the moaning. Every time she tastes one of her delightful concoctions (most of which seem to be made by assembling various ready made supermarket ingredients together), it is followed a pornographic groan which makes you think that Charles Sacchi is just off camera giving her one up the arse.

She'll say things like "when I'm on the go all day, I just haven't got time to get ready for a dinner party of 15, so I do it the Express way" Well, why the fuck are you having dinner party for 15 then, you lardy arsed cretin?!

She also has an infuriating habit of over using the first person possessive "my". "My pasta bake" or "My hokey poky chicken. But they're not hers. In last night's episode for example, we were introduced to "my smoked pepper humous" which seemed to consist of a tin of Waitross chickpeas, some M&S jarred peppers and some oil. What the fuck makes that hers? That's like saying the I-pod is my invention because I bought it from a shop.

And if you get beyond all of this shit without wanting to put your foot through the television, you need a large dose of disbelief suspension to accept the premise that we are somehow peeking into the "normal" life of Ms Lawson where everything is terribly normal. This isn't a set honest and I haven't bought in lots of extras to appear in my dinner party scenes. Hang on a minute, is that not the controller of BBC 2 enjoying Nigella's winky wonkey fucky wucky beef curtains?

The reality of course is that Nigella's world is a fantasy, full of food stylists, actors and wobbly sets. Nigella never actually cooks and her “children” are acting school child protégées. Her former husband would be rolling in his warm grave with embarrassment if he could see the hideous self-parodying monster that his wife has become.

1 comment:

P K Randolph said...


If the food doesn’t make you feel nauseous and the idea of spending £5k a week on entertaining high profile friends doesn’t make you feel, well working class? Then the camera work will certainly finish you off.

It’s become a new genre in itself! The way it hides behind objects like a predator or swarms around the kitchen like it’s been attached to a remote control fly, breaking nearly every rule of camera work, but not in a good way.

The closest thing I can describe it to would be if Mr. Magoo ever made a film with a 16x optical zoom (just incase you don’t know how to remove an ice cube from a tray, or didn’t know what one was and needed an illustration).