The Big Food Fight

Tuesday, September 15 on 4

This week, sharp-witted host Sue Perkins, and resident captain Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall are joined by James Martin, Charlotte Church and Andi Oliver for a mix of quick-fire questions and a range of other inventive, irreverent challenges. Sue will be at the helm, marshalling the action and awarding points as she deems fit, as well as revealing a number of surprising food facts.

I like Sue Perkins. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is alright. James Martin, despite almost constant references to the fact he comes from Yorkshire, is good fun on Saturday Kitchen. Charlotte Church seems like a reasonable enough human and star of Chinese Food Made Easy, Ching-He Huang, is a lovely, lovely woman. So, putting them all together in one show is going to be great, huh?

Well, no. You see, all these nice people were put together in a new panel show based around food. Yes, really. As much as the nation likes to pretend its all foodie-foodie, The Big Food Fight (Channel 4, Tuesday, 8 September, 10pm) should prove otherwise.

You see, when you get politics, a constantly shifting, writhing bed of snakes and turds, the scope for fun is endless. Take the world of TV and you’ve got enough ammo to last a million consecutive series. Food on the other hand, unless it is being cooked and wafting under your nose is simply no fun at all.

Think about it: The only funny thing food ever does is to look slightly like genitals… and that’s not especially funny.

Even less funny is watching someone list as many pastas as they can think of against the clock. Even less fun is watching someone list cooking oils, then scratching their balls while handcuffed to someone else.

One of the most distressing things I’ve ever witnessed on TV unfolded during the show. It was watching Charlotte Church looking slightly embarrassed at appearing on a programme. Now, bearing in mind that her chatshow was, and I’m being very kind here, rather rubbish, it speaks volumes of the levels of awfulness of this programme.

Seriously. This programme should never have got beyond the pilot stage. It doesn’t work, it isn’t remotely fun and you could have a thousand more laughs looking at your reflection in a pan of water. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Tuesday, September 8 on 4

A brand new food quiz that asks, do you know your onions? Hosted by the sharp-witted Sue Perkins, each week resident captain Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is forced to defend his cooking credentials as he is challenged by a different captain, a famous food personality, to establish who knows the most about all things edible. In every episode Hugh and his hungry rival will be flanked by celebrity guests with a passion for food and a determination for victory. Tonight Hugh is joined by Ben Miller, and they compete against kitchen magician Heston Blumenthal and actress Patsy Kensit.

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