Give us a break from this barmy battle of the buns!

TEDIOUS: GBBO presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

I THOUGHT the silly season was still with us when I just read about the slew of cookery shows about to explode on TV. But no!

The coming season sees the launch of the all-new Great British Bake Off, The Big Family Cooking Showdown, Celebrity Masterchef, Jamie’s Quick and Easy Food, Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, Britain’s Best Cook and Nigella Lawson’s At My Table.

I used to love ‘cooking programmes’ – now just repetitious, clichéd and usually boring. Fanny and Johnnie (Cradock), not to mention Keith Floyd (quick slurp!), must be turning in their graves.

The irony is that at the same time as an explosion in ‘cookery shows’ there is evidence of less cooking of meals at home. Why are so many readymade meals sold and restaurants overflowing?

People like looking at other people doing it?

Is the current obsession with articles and TV programmes about food a symptom or a cause of the fact that so many of us are, err, overweight? But hang on! Haven’t programmers missed a trick?

How about ‘Game of Scones’ or ‘A Question of Spork’ or ‘T’ was Better When I Was Young,’ a show celebrating the lack of fresh ingredients and ‘exotic’ foods like garlic, avocados etc? (Vesta and Angel Delight products would feature prominently.)

Maybe there’s even scope for one of those Anthony Bourdain-style TV stopover food shows. I can see it now. ‘Gordon Ramsay: Twelve Hours in…’ Shetland? Orkney? The Outer Hebrides?

Bored rigid by the sheer number of these programmes for ages now, I hardly ever watch any of them. (Hardly surprising so many of us are joining Amazon and Netflix – maybe indigestion due to a surfeit of ‘cooking’ shows?).

Especially the baking ones which bring to mind the old Shirley Conran maxim (‘Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’) from way back, when women weren’t expected to be domestic dogsbodies and encouraged to get a real life.

Ah, where have those days gone?

Nora Johnson’s ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.norajohn available from Amazon. Profits to Cudeca.

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.


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