Wednesday 29 March 2006
Did we like it?
Waiter, there’s a Cilla in my soup! This hybrid of celebrity biog meets dietary analysis must have seemed like a good idea on paper but in reality it was indigestible, undercooked and wholly unsatisfying.
What was good about it?
• Fanta Pants herself, Miss Cilla Black, was a genuinely surprising choice of subject for this first edition and she certainly wasn’t afraid to provide a lorra lorra background to her nutritional habits. Her experiences of food in childhood and early married life still influence her cuisine to this day although some may balk at the cooking she favours (kidneys, tongue and hearts were just the tip of a very meaty iceberg).
• The programme made an effort to discuss the history of not only the British diet but also our most famous eateries, such as Le Caprice.
• It was only 30 minutes long.
• This opener re-ignited that favourite debate in thecustard.tv household – what the hell does Cilla Black resemble? Is it a decrepit Ronald McDonald? Or perhaps a gerbil with Dallas hair? Is she actually more than 100 years of age?
What was bad about it?
• The problem we’ve always had with Cilla Black as a showbiz personality is that her persona essentially appears to be a false one. No-one in Liverpool talks like Cilla Black, with sluuuuurrrrrrred pronunciations at every opportunity, and her excursion around this city’s dining establishments only proved our point (we almost expected the lovely Scouse butcher to ask her to repeat herself). At times, it was as if she was insisting that her down-to-earth character is always reflected in her diet (e.g. fish and chips, bacon sandwiches, even Oxo cubes) but we’re not convinced that a trip to Claridges would result in the former Queen of Saturday Night TV ordering marmite on toast.
• Cilla’s utterly disgusting childhood recipe of rubbing Oxo on to an orange.
• It was 30 minutes long.
• Unfortunately, the programme came with no warning that footage of Miss Black’s ‘singing’ career was to be shown.