Keith Floyd RIP (or: Review: Keith Meets Keith)

It feels very peculiar indeed, that today, I should be attempting to review last night’s Keith Meets Keith (Channel 4) a matter of hours since the world found out that the irrepressible rascal that is Keith Floyd has passed away.

In an eerily timed catch-up with Floyd, the show served as a fantastic tribute – warts and all – to a man who really did change the face of TV cookery forever.

Not that Floyd was ever happy with his creation. Like Frankenstein’s monster, it all rather got out of hand and for a man that effectively created the celebrity chef, his views (as heard on last night’s show) aren’t exactly favourable when concerning the current crop.

And that was being kind.

Like a heat seeking missile, Keith Allen, who did his best to wrestle the conducting baton from Floyd throughout the show, learned that Floyd thought modern day celebrity chefs were nothing more that a bunch of “c*nts” who are merely able to construct nothing more than “gastronomic Lego.”

For someone who was so huge in the world of TV, save for scant repeats on Saturday Kitchen and the like, Floyd has been ominously quiet for a number of years. We all know of his excesses, of which seem to be of an era fast vanishing with Richard Harris and Ollie Reed. His weather-beaten drunk sophisticate demeanour is something seldom seen and, now he’s shuffled off his bones, may be never seen again.

As shown in the show, he could be a complete ogre of a human, but unlike most celebrities, a term I’m sure he will have baulked at in reference to himself given a moodswing or two, he was always a fascinating subject.

The tumultuous life of Floyd was captured in the show in unflinching glory (as captured with the awkward reconciliation with his daughter), yet, so was the Floyd we all expected to see… the warm host pouring you a drink and offering you a cigarette, regaling you with fine anecdotes and hearty, wheezing cackles.

It’s obvious, looking at the current crop of chefs that we’ll never take to a TV foodie in the same way we all took to Floyd. They are damp squibs, polishing their career prospects and lifting the camera away from the food to their polished teeth.

And now, we’re left with the memories of that ravaged old face, knocking back enough drink to get a cow hammered, setting fire to pans and grinning while the whole world fell about his ears.

Keith Allen unwittingly made the finest tribute to a true great. Sure, he’s a bit of a bastard… but he’s our bastard.

About the author

I'm Mof Gimmers.

I've been writing about TV for a long time. I love it and loathe it in equal measures. I'm pretty sure the TV feels the same away about me too.
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