A Short History of TV Cooking Shows

Brits love food-based TV, especially cookery shows, and this isn’t a modern fad, as cooking-themed programmes have been around for over 60 years. However, the style, recipes and approach they take have changed quite drastically over that time.

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The Innovator: 1950s Fanny Craddock

Britain was still living with post-war rationing when a glammed-up straight-talking Fanny burst into living rooms with one ambition: to jazz up those dreary meals and inspire housewives to up their game in the kitchen.

Cooking as Education

Fanny remained influential until her role as cooking educator was adopted in the ’70s by both Yorkshire TV for their very popular daytime show ‘Farmhouse Kitchen’ and the schoolmarmish Delia Smith.

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The 1980s – Personality Wins

We have Keith Floyd to thank for the first major change to the TV cooking show format, as his unconventional approach to both cooking and presenting broke all the moulds. He produced the goods, along with side dishes of fun and entertainment, and shifted the focus to fall equally on the food itself and the person or people fronting the show.

The 1990s and More of the Outrageous

Known best as ‘2 Fat Ladies’, this mighty duo broke all the rules as they travelled the UK in a bike-sidecar combo, cooking hearty fare without a nod to the school of healthy eating. The focus was still very much on personality combined with a competitive element as the decade wore on through shows like Ready, Steady, Cook.

The Eclectic Twenty-First Century

As the ’90s came to an end, new faces like Nigella and Jamie Oliver emerged to take on the ‘lifestyle cooking’ mantle, gaining ground as the new century progressed alongside the now highly competitive shows such as Masterchef and the UK’s Hell’s Kitchen – both of which reflect the growing role of the public as stars of the cooking shows in their own right.

Currently, the Great British Bake Off holds top spot – perhaps the ultimate example of how to combine healthy competition with a nurturing lifestyle aspiration, providing you have decent reception. If you need help with aerial installation in Bristol, a specialist company such as http://aerial-installations-bristol.co.uk/ can help.

We don’t know how TV cookery shows will develop as the decades pass, but based on the past it is bound to be a good journey.