I am an inveterate foodie. I love to cook, and enjoy any food-related programmes that crop up; especially as a change to the endless repetitive, banal, dumb downed drivel that passes for televised content nowadays. That’s why I like MasterChef. Or did, until a bald, gibbering cretin was chosen as co-presenter. No, not John Torode. I mean: Gregg Wallace.
This train-wreck of a character has the inexplicable gift of simultaneously being a patronising, idiotic, gaff-prone, supremely irritating tosser who’s only qualification to pass judgement on the art and science of creating beautiful food is as a prior market gardener and proprietor of two (now closed) lousy “restaurants.” Oh, and he was once on Strictly Come Dancing as well. Well there you go, a perfect candidate, then.
Babbling away incessantly, and grinning in that creepy manner he has for years (incredibly) been a judge, uttering such articulate statements such as ‘What we’re about to find out is whether you can cook or not!’ His table manners don’t add any further glamour, being reminiscent of warthogs gathering at a waterhole.
Shovelling a monstrously overburdened spoonful of custard into his gaping sinkhole of a mouth, he sprays gobs of food around whilst proclaiming: “I’d like to take my knickers off and splatter around in that for a fortnight.” I’ll let that image hang in your mind for a while, folks.
However, without wishing to defend this garden gnome of a presenter, this years’ contestants sometimes threaten to actually cast him in a more erudite light. This cannot be allowed to happen, of course, but when some of their outbursts come perilously close to achieving this, it’s going to be an uphill struggle:
‘Tossing!’, and: ‘I’ve stuck something in the oven. I don’t know what it’s going to taste like!’ – Yvette Fielding.
‘Is that pork?’ – Sheree Murphy.
Not a wise thing to say around her fellow contestant, Patricia Potter, who helpfully advised:
‘I don’t know. I might give it a lick!’
And if your mind is as depraved as mine, then yes, there is so much to be made out of those statements. Priceless.
And on my earlier reference to G.W.’s forays into the world of being a restaurateur, I would be the first to remark that someone who has made a career out of “professionally” tasting and judging food should have no problems in making a success of both ventures; in knowing how good food should be sourced (ex-market gardener don’t forget), prepared and to taste. Not so.
Both restaurants (Wallace & Co., Gregg’s Table) suffered bad reviews, with lousy menus and constant changes in staff, menus and decor. And with reviews like these, Gregg, you should know by now that the old adage still applies, namely, that you can’t polish a turd:
‘It seems that Mr Wallace models his approach to filling the mouths of his clients on Laurence Olivier’s dentist in Marathon Man. I wouldn’t say that Gregg’s Table is abysmal, but I’ve had more pleasure from root canal work.’
‘Rod Stewart popped up on the speakers with I Don’t ‘Wanna Talk About It, and I know how the other diners felt.’
– Matthew Norman, the Guardian / the Daily Telegraph.
But there, there Greggy-weggy. In summation, you can always take solace from your misadventures, past and present in the wisdom of the departed sage, Yvette Fielding:
‘At least I didn’t poison anyone.’