Apart from Gary Rhodes TV chefs don’t as a rule annoy me.
Mainly because I find there’s something pleasantly soporific about watching someone cook. I guess it harkens back to the days when, as a boy, I’d watch my gran makes cakes and pies in her 1970’s deluxe kitchen. Even now, watching a Victoria sponge being lightly dusted with icing sugar just puts me in a good mood for the entire day and relaxes me into a state of goodwill to all men.
So a TV chef has to go a long way then to fully upset my apple cart.
Cue Simon King and David Myers, the two halves of which don’t quite comprise a whole in the shape of the BBC’s Hairy Bikers.
I’m gritting my teeth at the mere thought of them.
Their shtick seems to be that they’re hairy. They ride bikes. They’re Geordies. And they cook.
In that order.
Inscrutably, Karen likes them (hence this is how they find their way onto my HD-unready telly). And on the face of it they’re inoffensive enough. But for some unspecifiable reason they irritate the colon out of me.
They are essentially The Chuckle Brothers with beards and bikes. A male version of the Two Fat Ladies (and let’s face it, Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson were practically bearded anyway).
They’re cooking isn’t particularly stunning in my opinion. It’s all a bit... pedestrian (which is very ironic given that they spend most of their time with their be-leathered thighs wrapped around the throbbing engines of their gleaming hogs).
It’s all a bit “blokey” and “roadie” and not expertly enough “chefy”.
But maybe that’s the point? Maybe they’re trying to get more blokey blokes to cook? An admirable campaign if ever there was one but there’s something ineffably flat and wishy-washy about the pair of them. And yes that is a deliberate pantomime reference. The pair of them could don dresses and it wouldn’t look at all weird. Unattractive. But not weird.
Hmm. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen the Hairy Bikers and the Two Fat Ladies in the same room together at the same time... though of course Jennifer Paterson’s death in 1998 shoots a rather large hairy hole in that theory.
I guess my biggest complaint about the hairy bikers is quite simply... the hair. Their jaw-lines and top lips are just too hirsute to make their food at all palatable. And this is from someone who is himself bearded. It’s very off-putting to watch them sinking their molars into a double crust yak and leek pastie and then try and sing it’s praises to the camera as flakes and shards of pastry and meat hang loosely in their beards and moustaches like miniature trapeze artists trying to escape from a Russian circus.
The inside of their helmets must look and taste like a Subway deli counter.
Oh please, people. A double entendre was not intended...