Eat y’self shitter
Britain’s Favourite Takeaway Channel 5
A queer fish, the Channel 5 website. Does no one from the office inspect this desolate, undernourished electronic moor? Sure, Britain’s Favourite blah-blah-blah is a shambling mess of a series cropping up at random dates with no trails for the next one, but you’d think they’d at least get the numbers right.
But no. Not only does the site give the usual offhand, one-line synopsis for ITS BLOODY FLAGSHIP CULT ERRATIC SHOW, advising just unidentified “celebrities”, it also states this is episode one of series two. But it can’t be. There have already been three! Chocolate bars, sweets and crisps. See? Now takeaways. That’s four.
Dom Joly, moral helmsman of the first three shows, has had a heart attack or something and disappeared off the all-star lineup, which is now led by default by Phil Tufnell. “Love a takeaway. Love a Ruby. Friday night, curry night,” said Phil, which is not very original or scintillating or up to Joly standard, but is an accurate sample of the tone of the boredom of the thing.
It’s not surprising about Joly’s indisposition. Su Pollard seems to have been stretchered out too. As we have pointed out on the podcasts, it’s a C-list humanitarian crisis in here. The captive slebs have had their guts crammed with sweets, chocolate and crisps until their ribcages are visibly throbbing and now they’ve had to scarf down chips, pies, burgers, kebabs and parmo in one sitting.
They were also encouraged to eat some sort of death-cult curry you have to sign a disclaimer for, which seemed harsh, and Jenny Powell still hasn’t got her confiscated trousers back. It’s difficult to see how they can hang on for any more episodes. It could be that there’s psychological torture going on too and the slebs have been brainwashed into thinking that episode four really is episode one. That would explain the website.
Anyhow, starting with parmo. Parmo, eh? It was number 20. What a sheltered lot the slebs are. Do I need to name them all again, by the way? No. Only Pete Firman, ‘comedy magician’ (hedging your bets – wise move there), and Sandi Bogle, reality star out of Gogglebox, recognised or had even heard of parmo, which is a big slub of chicken smothered in cheese or some crap, consumed only on Teesside.
Pete’s from Middlesbrough, so that explains that. He was surprised hipsters hadn’t cottoned on to parmo. No one else was. Sandi had had it in Benidorm, which didn’t make much sense.
The rest of them thought it might be cheese omelette, pizza, croque monsieur (said Phil, seeming a bit non-Taahfnell), fish with cheese (?), and even schnitzel (Vanessa). They didn’t like it.
And so onward and downward, towards number one. Just to kill the suspense, that was Chinese. C5 must have been hoping the public would revolt over this and hoist the flag for curry or kebabs. They’ve milked these shows for controversy – it’s a national disgrace Monster Munch didn’t make the top ten crisps, all that. But going by reports this time, the public has taken the results with equanimity.
Or it’s possible that the public had fallen asleep. There are only so many times you can listen to someone say, “I love a pie” or “I love a kebab”. There’s just no insight! No bleedin’ insight.
Worse, there was a big blank in the equation this time. Usually half the show is filled up with ‘remembering’ the old TV ads and singing them and acting them out. But there aren’t any old TV ads for kebabs or sausage and chips.
To pad it out they gave you a bit of history. Bagels come from Poland. Burgers are from the US. Fried chicken was invented by a Scot. Really? Sushi is from Egypt. Or was that parmo? I don’t care.
Never knowingly telling you something you don’t know, they even rolled out the crusty old tale about how the sandwich got its name. This prompted the best line of the night, from Hal Cruttenden (comedian), who seemed suddenly to grow into his alleged occupation.
“This is so typically British,” said Hal. “The person who actually made the first sandwich was some servant in the kitchen who is now forgotten, and because of accident of birth the posh guy gets the glory. Rubbish. And that’s why we need a revolution.”
Too right. They also stuffed the programme with old sitcom clips of Dad’s Army, Mrs Brown’s Boys, The Royle Family, Men Behaving Badly and The Thin Blue Line. The sort of thing that demonstrates why we’ll never have a revolution. You half expected Mind Your Language to pop up. Sure they did curry.
The slebs were so bored they even lapsed into takeaway innuendo, smirking about baps, muffins and mother’s nurturing breasts (the McDonald’s sign). So viewers, by turn themselves bored, nauseated and homicidal, might not have stuck it out for the bombshell.
Yes! When they got to fried chicken (number six) it turned out that Nando’s give out special black cards – to celebrities, among other special people – and these cards entitle you to free Nando’s for a year! It’s terrific!
What’s more, Louisa Lytton, one of the hardcore Britain’s Greatest gang, has got one. But none of the rest have. They were literally begging Nando’s on screen to send them one. But it won’t work. Because Nando’s never give them to people who ask.
PS. In case you missed it, here’s the full top 20, with some of the very best celebrity quotes.
20. Parmo. “Who eats that?” 19. Greek 18. Tapas 17. Pie. “Love a pie” 16. Sushi 15. Caribbean 14. Mexican 13. Baked potato 12. Cheesy chips 11. Bagel. “Love a bagel” 10. Sausage and chips 9. Thai 8. Sandwich. “Put crisps in it” 7. Doner kebab. “Now you’re talking” 6. Fried chicken 5. Burger 4. Pizza 3. Fish and chips. “We invented the damn thing” 2. Indian 1. Chinese
There you are. You can watch it on the My5 player. Go on, do it.
Photo: Chinese takeaway by Cdkproductions/Adobe Stock
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