Food. History. Sue Perkins in 1940′s clothing, her legs painted with gravy browning and a neighbourhood dog chasing her down the street. Is there anything about this programme that’s not immediately likeable?
Well perhaps: Giles Coren, after all, veers between tolerable and insufferable depending on how much meat he’s managed to cram into himself. Thankfully, as this episode dealt with the era of rationing, that wasn’t too much.
The premise of this series is simple: Sue and Giles have to live for a week on the diet and in the style of a historical period. They then eat terrible things, and make jokes about them. When I first saw this simple concept in action, back in December’s “Edwardian Supersize Me“, I ended up rewatching it so often that I memorised the recipes for both beef tea and pressed duck, neither of which I ever intend to eat.
There wasn’t anything quite as ghastly in this first episode of a new series, but there was mock crab, grass (of the kind cows eat) and cake made with paraffin. And, as we found out, while your grandparents were making do and mending with this kind of muck, Churchill was puffing away on a Havana, decimating a Stilton and quaffing back the Pol Roger. Giles, trying manfully to match the great war leader bite for bite, threw up after but a single cigar. I expect there to be much more vomiting in the forthcoming episodes.