UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Too many celebrity cooks spoiling the broth?

May 1, 2008

atten3.jpgSir David Attenborough has accused the BBC of chasing ratings and overloading the schedules with too many makeover programmes and celebrity chefs.

Where, he asks, are the programmes about science for example like the long-defunct “Tomorrow’s World?”

“Do we really require so many gardening programmes, makeover programmes or celebrity chefs,” he asks. “Is it not a scandal in this day and age that there seems to be no place for continuing series of programmes about science, or serious music or thoughtful, in-depth interviews with people other than politicians?”

Attenborough joined the BBC in 1952 so he’s been around the corporation a long time. Do you think he’s right or has he had his day?

    

Comments

He is absolutely correct. The BBC are there, not only to entertain, but also to inform and educate. As a publice broadcast company, they have no need to chase ratings,there should be more hard science and informative documentaries.

Posted by Bob Adam | Report as abusive
 

Could´nt agree more Dave i´m sick of all these boring gardening and cooking programs on the BBC. I totally agree that more interesting programs about science, nature and cultures should represent more of the BBC´s programming. After all they say they want to promote education on TV but end up playing trash like gardeners world!

Posted by Lloyd | Report as abusive
 

Definitely without a doubt – he is RIGHT!

Posted by Sarah-Jane Mythen | Report as abusive
 

Considering the average British person is poorly educated with low standards it isn’t surprising they love to watch meaningless rubbish on the TV. If you put on educational, interesting programs they wouldn’t thank you.

What the country needs is strong leadership which forces cultural and educational change Unfortunately
our career politicians are weak and don’t have the stomach to drive change in our society. They would
rather go to war and try to change others.

 

Totally agree – I am fed up with being subjected to cookery, gardening and DIY or house refurbishment projects on TV.

Lets have something a bit more educational and interesting to give us a wider viewing choice instead of the durdge that comes on every night.

What’s happening in Tomorrows World?

Posted by Psaitch | Report as abusive
 

I have worked for Gordan Ramsey Holdings and I currently work at Scott’s in Mayfair. I have to agree with Sir David Attenborough that TV Chefs are over rated. I am fed up with cookery programmes as they do not show the hard work that front of house staff do. It is front of house service skills that make an evening out enjoyable as much as the food, but do we have a famous TV waiter? NO: because in this country waiters are just seen as servile; which is completly wrong.

There are many important subjects that the media could cover, such as the sciences, but we live in a world of dumb down and idiot culture where intelligence is scorned.

Posted by Mario Laurenza | Report as abusive
 

Agree but beware of ‘pressure groups’ attempting to use ‘serious programmes’ to put forward unsubstantiated views. Even Sir David is guilty of occasionally dropping in opinions about man made global warming for example.

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive
 

With the advent of digital TV, why not have several BBC channels, each devoted to a single theme. For instance: BBC Science and Nature, BBC Comedy, BBC Drama, BBC Reality, etc.

This way the culture vultures get what they need and the average Briton can watch the dross they so enjoy (unfortunately James, you cannot “force” culture on people.)

Posted by Tom Morgan | Report as abusive
 

I strongly agree. The British are becoming culturally and politically illiterate due to the dumb stuff produced on television. Sadly the BBC is one of the worst offenders.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive
 

I agree with Mr Attenborough.

Making cheap, moronic TV is anathema to intellectual exercise.

The BBC have made fools of too many viewers and needs to take stock.

Up with quality TV!

Posted by Keith M Warwick | Report as abusive
 

In response to this post:

“May 1st, 2008
2:17 pm GMT I have worked for Gordan Ramsey Holdings and I currently work at Scott’s in Mayfair. I have to agree with Sir David Attenborough that TV Chefs are over rated. I am fed up with cookery programmes as they do not show the hard work that front of house staff do. It is front of house service skills that make an evening out enjoyable as much as the food, but do we have a famous TV waiter? NO: because in this country waiters are just seen as servile; which is completly wrong.

There are many important subjects that the media could cover, such as the sciences, but we live in a world of dumb down and idiot culture where intelligence is scorned.”

- Posted by Mario Laurenza

Mario has made a vitally importnat point and shown up another crass and stupid side of progamming: they ignore the true story in favour of a quick buck via ‘famous’ chefs, many of whom are NOT responsible for the success of a restaurant.

If you get good staff then the front of house guys and gals deserve all the credit they are due.

A good waiter can make an evening a success – not the egotistical chef so far up his own axxx that daylight is of no consequence.

Posted by Keith M Warwick | Report as abusive
 

I´m Sorry, but the logistics of getting plates of food from A to B, and the bland, forced chit chat of waiting staff is in no way as entertaining as the hustle and bustle of a kitchen – the place where these wonderful creations are created.

Posted by Tom Morgan | Report as abusive
 

Sick to death of these programmes. Bring back decent documentries.

Posted by Tom wright | Report as abusive
 

Unfortunateky I must agree with David Attenborough. He has made some wonderful informative programmes & we should see more of these rather than ‘Cooks’. Please give us viewers some interesting Science, Nature & Cultural programmes from around this world of ours.

 

i am a chef and i agree with you

 

PUH! what does Attenborough know, has he ever done anything for anyone. other than help a few lions kill some gazelle and feed insects to some birds or frogs. you cant really tell me the footage of a tree frog munching up a little beetle is natural. they blatantly release a beetle in front of a frog and then film the resulting massacre. on the note of celebrity chefs, at mcdonalds it is supposed to take but 190 seconds for your order to return to you once placing it, that may rarely happen but how often have you been into a celebrities restaurant and received your food in anywhere near that amount of time i ask you?

 

No-one seems to have stated the obvious yet, so I’ll do it myself.

All the TV companies are under pressure to increase the number of channels offered and broadcast 24 hours a day. That’s a lot of time to fill and serious programs cost serious money.

Cookery, gardening, game shows, 24 hour news and endless repeats are cheap and fill the schedules. Result – lots of dross on the box and no thought processes required. This kind of TV needs a few tinnies and a bag of crisps to help it along.

I can’t see things changing in a hurry. When the BBC gives Jonathan Woth £18 million a year to tell smutty jokes and all the other overpaid luvvies want lots of the same, there isn’t much left for making serious programmes.

Posted by Mike T | Report as abusive
 

i once had a sandwich made by jamie oliver. it was alright, but i couldn´t taste the difference!

 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •