Of Sense and Sense-celebrity

So I have an email, asking if I’d like to audition for a new cooking programme on Channel 4.  Good grief.   I’m the last person who should ever be on telly doing anything.  In fact it’s a wonder I’m allowed outside on my own, unsupervised.  But cooking, competitively, against professional chefs?  Crumbs.  I get anxious just writing a shopping list.

Nope.  I will not be going on the gogglebox. No way.   Probably… but wouldn’t it be a hoot?

In preparation, I embark upon a self-induced technical challenge.  The Greek God encourages matters by ‘interviewing’ me, Noel Fielding style, as I whisk and whirl around the kitchen.  Well, I say that; he mainly pretends to wear a terrible shirt and gets in my way a lot.

I’m not sure daytime TV is ready for me, effing and blinding, falling over as I search for the wooden spoon and wearing blue plasters all over my hands and face.  In fact, I had a terrible premonition when I wrote this blog post yonks ago.  But I’m wondering… cooking, whilst holding a conversation without swearing, and remembering to hold my stomach in… I could do that, couldn’t I?  And let’s face it, if you’re going to have a complete nervous breakdown, why not do it on national telly, right..?  Hmmm…

Imagine the joy it would bring to my friends and family, ever-supportive:

‘She’s always been a liability but it turns out she can’t cook either, the poor old girl.’

(You could do it though.  Go on.  You can borrow my hold-it-in knickers?  This is the link)

Give us this day…

One of the hardest things about doing food in public is, well, doing food in public.   It’s fair to say I’m a bit anxious at the best of times.

“You don’t see pittas like this in the supermarket,’ said a lady last week.  She meant that in a good way, right?  I’ve wondered approx. 869 times a day since.

“It takes me ages to get them looking all rustic like that,” I tell her, nodding furiously.  “I have to throw all the perfect ones out.”

I’m joking, of course.  Anxiety means I have to pretend; like an actor I wear my mask, hamming it up all the time… But I’m an intelligent, adult woman.  I run a successful business.  I am not a total nitwit.

But I can’t do anything if people are watching.  I won’t be going on Masterchef anytime soon.

“Jen’s going with classic bread and butter,” says Gregg Wallace.  “But when you’re doing something simple, it’s got to be perfect.”

John Torode nods encouragingly but doesn’t look convinced.  The camera discreetly pans away from my shaking, sweaty hands.

I stand, quivering, on the designated spot before them.  They look from the plate, to me, to the plate then to each other before gamely lifting half a slice each.

“Well it tastes like bread and butter,” says Gregg, tugging at his cardigan.  “Your presentation’s let you down though.”

Tears run down my ruddy cheeks.  “I do it so much better at home,” I wail…

Bread & Butter