Food and telly goes together like bacon and eggs, like a couch and a potato, like a hangover and an empty wallet.
And so, under the title of “smell my cheese, you mother” – a reference to a superb moment in Alan Partridge, when the eponymous hero goes off-line whilst at a meeting with the BBC – I will pen a series of blog posts on some of the awesome moments of food on the telly.
First up: Alan Partridge and my top ten food moments:
10 – When talking to his long-suffering PA Lynne, Alan remarks: “Right, dry skin cream. I’m having an attack of the old flakes again. This morning my pillow looked like a flapjack” thus ruining the appeal of flapjacks in one stroke.
9 – During a phone in with farmers, Alan responds to one who fails to appreciate his joke: “a bit slow on the uptake there, dunno what he had for breakfast this morning… Presumably an infected spinal column in a bap.” Whilst later being remonstrated for insulting farmers (and accusing them of feeding beefburgers to swans), he retracts his statement on spinal columns in a bap.. only to reiterate that he should have said baguette as the spinal column would have fit better in a baguette.
8 – Alan is being shown around his big bastard house, it’s going well, talking to the estate agent he says “Do you know what this bathroom says to me? Aqua. Which is French for water. It’s like being inside an enormous Fox’s Glacier Mint. Which, again, to me is a bonus.” Couldn’t agree more.
7 – Hanging out in his favourite petrol station one day, and after he eats an apple pie heated in a microwave, Alan exclaims ‘How long did you put that in for Lynn? It’s hotter than the sun!’ a phrase I have consistently used since.
6 – Alan learns that he has not been commissioned for a second series and that the deal on his dream house has fallen through. He laments to Lynne: ‘I just want to be able to say “I’m Alan Partridge. Join me tonight when my guests will be, I don’t know, Chris Rea”. Actually, he lives in the area. I could have had him over. “Alright Chris!”, “Hello Alan I didn’t know you’d moved in”, “Yeah, just moved in, last week. I’m having a barbecue, fancy coming over?”, “I’d love to! Do you mind if I bring my guitar?”, “I’d rather you didn’t, it’s not that kind of area. Do you like Mini Kievs?”, “I love them! But my wife’s vegetarian”, “Doesn’t matter. She can have fish”, “No she won’t eat that either”, “Oh forget it!. You people”. Go on, Lynn. These people are starting to annoy me.’ In perhaps the finest soliloquy ever committed to film.
5 – Settling down with his Ukrainian girlfriend and a motley selection of friends, Alan plans to embark on a James Bond marathon (with time scheduled in for fish-quilks and the like) Lynn spills Sunny Delight and ruins his entire James Bond video collection, a furious Alan takes a hammer and all his boxes of cereal outside the caravan. ‘What you doing Mr Partridge?’ ‘I’m destroying my cereals.’ Genius.
4 – A business meeting in his travel tavern finds Alan talking to two Irish television producers about the Irish Potato Famine. To grim faces all around he remarks ‘At the end of the day, they will pay the price for being a fussy eater. If they could afford to emigrate, they could afford to eat at a modest restaurant.’ Almost as epic as his comments on Sunday Bloody Sunday.
3 – After accidentally inventing a chaser consisting of a pint, a (small) baileys Irish cream and a gin and tonic, there can be only one response: ‘Ooh Ladyboys’. Having tried these mothers myself I can only say… Oooh ladyboys.
2 – Alan is commissioned to make a documentary for canal boats. Whilst onboard he boasts: ‘This chemical toilet is a Saniflow 33, now this little babe can cope with anything, and I mean anything. Earlier on I put in a pound of mashed up Dundee cake, let’s take a look…not a trace! Peace of mind I’m sure, especially if you have elderly relatives on board.’ Needless to say using the phrase “little babe” when describing sundries always brings a smile to my face. Classic.
1 – In at number one, can only be the “Valance moment.” Alan is seducing Gill – a red haired lady with a cigarette in her mouth- who worked in his office and who has confirmed she does like him “sex-wise” before joining him for a romantic valentines dinner (with a 12-inch plate, no less). They decide to retreat back to his room, with a bottle of bubbly and chocolate pudding.. only for Alan to be plunged into terror at what he mistakes for a dirty protest when Gill tries to get frisky with her food. Absolute telly gold.
Did I miss any classic moments involving food? If so stick them in comments and in the meantime I will think about other tellybox programmes I love with super foody moments… x