Oh Nigel

Posted on July 6, 2010


Look at him. Doesn’t he look lovely? Doesn’t Nigel Slater look like the kind of bloke you like to have living next door to you? Doesn’t he epitomise the kind of person we feel we’d like to be in these economically challenging times?

Yes. Yes, he does.

Which is why his Simple Suppers series is registering a big hit with me. It’s not the photography, nor is it him necessarily (although he is adorable). What comes across loud and clear is that someone somewhere had a really simple idea. That same person chose the right person to front the idea.

This episode – an effortless combination of allotment porn fused with low-effort aspirational cooking – doesn’t scream shameless self-promoter nor ill-thought cross-platform promotion either.

Fair enough. Allotments aren’t knew. A friend of mine was pitching allotments to Radio 4 five years ago. Maybe the time wasn’t right. Now however especially now – the romantic ideal of an allotment appeals. It ticks boxes. It makes sense. Consequently the low-key, stripped-down TV presentation works. It taps into the economic climate. It reminds us that we could – if we could be arsed (and we should) – grow our own stuff. We could enjoy the process of cooking uncomplicated home-grown stuff. The programme sells two ideas: grow stuff and cook that stuff. It’s not that difficult. It’s responsible. It’s grown up. It’s fun. It’s satisfying.

It all seems to fall together really rather well. I like it.

Move over Delicious Miss Dahl. Nigel Slater’s in town.

Oh. And if you didn’t stick around for the end credits, this particular production is a BBC Bristol effort. Well done you lot. Nice work.

Posted in: TV