Rick Stein, Celebrity Chef

I quite like Rick Stein; or at least I don't want to stab him in the face, cut him into four and bury each piece in a separate location which is what I'd like to do with most of the other celebrity chefs at any rate - except for Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, for whom I have a far worse fate in mind ("Oh Nigella, er...oh, no, it's ok. I just prefer my food without your cleavage in it." Incidentally, does she have any unattractive friends? Whenever she has a dinner party on the television, it looks like an swimwear model's get-together. No offence to my mates but if I had a dinner party it'd look like the Chamber of Horrors had come to life and re-enacting a chimp's tea-party).

He cooks well, and his programmes usually have quite a bit of filler material in which we get to see whichever part of the world he's visiting, local agricultural/fishing (he specialises in fish)/people and so on and so forth, so it's all quite watchable really and he's not an arse-faced cretin like Gary Rhodes either. He's not as good as Gordon Ramsay (say what you like about Ramsay, the man and cook and his Kitchen Nightmares USA programme is eminently watchable because a Brit - I'm sure he thinks of himself as British rather than Scottish - shouting and swearing at an American always will be eminently watchable) but, all in all, he's OK until something better comes on.

I'm beginning to think that he could do with a big cup of shut the fuck up though after I watched him on some cable channel or another the other night (no idea what channel it was, everybody just flicks through in that semi-hypnotised state now that we all have 40+ channels to choose from), doing a programme from Puglia in Italy. Direct to camera, Rick was heard to say, "I don't suppose the food of this region has changed very much since Roman times." Well Rick. You're the expert, being a chef and all. I always imagined the introduction of tomatoes, potatoes and pasta would have had at least a recognisable effect on Italian food but hey, obviously I was wrong.

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