Four weeks

Posted by Jeni in Great Food Live | 12 March 2007

Today we had Simon Rimmer on. He has been absent for a long time - he said today's show felt like coming home. But he's been off doing his thang: opening restaurants, being a dad, writing books, being on telly... we were lucky to get him.

But there's a definite feel about the wind down now. Four weeks to go. The weather is shifting. Slowly the outside world is becoming aware that we are coming off. So it's chins up, four sails to the wind, and a good bit of stiff upper lip. I have had so many people ask me why we're coming off. Well, it's hard to say. I could say because they are silly $8*^+= or because new brooms sweep clean, or because they wanted something new and fresh or because ultimately it was time for me to move on, or a decision was made and that's that. The truth is it was all of those things and more. So to my lovely fans out there, especially my Gay fan club, I will be back in some form or another - smaller, older and definitely more gobby, I suspect.

The food on today's show was disgustingly carbo-charged: arborio rice pudding and rhubarb on the side, ridiculously creamy cheese to bring in the spring, and Jerusalem humous. UKTVfood has all the recipes.

I drove in from the country this morning so I'm very tired and uninspired. Suffice to say, I will be back tomorrow - with something better than a whinge. Promise.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes


1. At March 21, 2007 4:31 PM Donovan wrote:

Nothing much to say about the demise of GFL. Too p!$$3d off with UKTV et al. Proud to encourage a UKTV Food boycott for removing our beloved programme.

I'm looking forward to your phoenix like reincarnation on our TV screens. You are a delight to watch, a perfect foil and antidote to the pompous "foodies". You are enjoyed by all my family: my partner, who is British Bangladeshi; my son, Joe & daughter*, Rosie, both 12 (*going on 35); and me, the Catholic/Jewish ex-Londoner.

I particularly appreciate that my daughter can watch a mature, successful, non-blonde professional on TV. Rosie sees you working and I know she absorbs that an intelligent woman can do very well. Joe sees lots of male role models, but for Rosie, a little girl who loves Jane Austin, and maths, and music, and French.... It's valuable to see others achieve.

Thank you for that, and the wit, the entertainment, the terrible jokes. Looking forward to the next performance, and the next.

2. At March 22, 2007 7:45 PM Miss M Barsack wrote:

I can't believe that GFL is ending. It is such a fabulous programme and I am disgusted that is finishing soon. GFL is by far the best programme on ANY of the UKTV channels.

Jeni, you are a fantastic presenter and me and my partner are often laughing our heads of watching you (we shall never forget "moose woman"). No matter how bad our day at work has been, and they can be very tough, we know we can tune into GFL and your relaxed and fun attitude helps us wind down.

It is nice to see a woman who is comfortable in herself even though she may not be the typical stunning, 20 something blonde bit. Jeni, we love you in our house.

We will very much miss you and GFL and all your flirting with the chefs!

Best wishes for whatever you do next, we will be watching.

3. At March 23, 2007 1:36 AM anna hodkinson wrote:

Jeni, I don't even know where to begin. I am already in mourning for the amazing hour long slice of tv that is (soon to be was) GFL. I can only assume that the head of tv planning (or whatever his or her title is) has had a nasty blow to the head and will come to their senses before you go off air. Unfortunately I don't hold out much hope at this late stage, so I felt that I needed to just let you know that GFL has been a show that I have watched and loved for many years. My husband thinks you are soooo funny, and its one of the few programmes that we sit and watch together with no arguments! Jeni I am going to miss you so much, 10pm is going to be a big void after the show goes, you, the chefs and the whole crew helped me through some pretty desperate times after an ectopic pregnancy that nearly killed me, and the long dark months afterwards. Not to mention that my husband thinks I'm a wonderful cook, and it's all down to you! I wish you luck for anything and everything that you do next, trust me i'll be watching it! Miss you already x

4. At March 23, 2007 3:56 AM Samuel Crawford wrote:

Dear Jeni,

Can't believe that your days of presenting GFL are over. It just won't be the same without you and I truly mean that. I'm writing because I just feel terrible. Do you remember Steve Allen being horrid about you on LBC? Well darling, that was my fault! You see, he asked who our favourite TV presenters were and I emailed and said that you were because you were too fabulous for words and he responded by giving you a verbal bashing every day for 2 weeks. I just felt so bloody grim and I can't apologise enough. It was intended to be a compliment but Steve turned it around. I love Steve's show of course but I never expected him to do that so I apologise. Could you email me on my email (supplied) and let me know that you've read this?

I don't know what your gay fan club are going to do without you darling. I'm very proud to be one - in fact, if we ever get off our pert and well toned arses and get organised, I'd probably be a regional chairperson but I already run the Joan Crawford Fan Club and in between watching you on GFL and Joan in "Queen Bee" and "Mildred Pierce", who has the time? If only Joan was still with us - we could have had a Jeni and Joan Show complete with tempura and wire hangers.

Seriously Jeni, you're wonderful and please keep up this site because you've been a part of our lives for so long that it's going to be very very empty without you each night. Bugger Steve Allen, you're the best presenter on British telly - and I mean that. You're a joy and a delight, you put out so much love and warmth that we've all fallen in love with you. We care about you so much and we really will miss you on GFL. Especially you with Nancy Lam. Oh Jeni, you've been the Garbo of the Kitchen.

Well, I'll end this very camp comment and leave you with this - I can't thankyou enough for all the entertainment you've given us. My dear friend John Inman passed away at the beginning of the month and it was John who got me into showbiz (I'm a drag queen don't you know?). The last time I spoke to him, I actually suggested applying to come on GFL as a spoof of Fanny Cradock. He loved the idea but I didn't get around to sending in the idea and now it's too late. Oh well, one day I hope we get the chance to work together on something. Maybe in a panto or in a culinary version of "La Cage Aux Folles".

Keep smiling darling. As Bette Davis would say, "You're the nicest goddamn dame who evah lived!"

With Love,


Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.