Andrew Nutter trains it down from Rochdale and he never once complains, about the journey, about the weather. He just turns up with another one of his daft shirts and gets on with being utterly Nutterly.
The show today honoured Las Fallas. Now if you are Spanish, you say Las Fayas, but if you're me, and you know me anything for a cheap laugh, you'll say Las Phallus, which is what I said three times before I thought better of it.
You know, I do get a little nervous about the hand on my shoulder. You have to remember that the show is live, so if I take it into my head to say 'penis', for instance, I have to remember that I have bills to pay. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can make for a very short career.
The decision making process in a live show is interesting. There is always a tiny bit of my brain that is directing, a bit that is editing, a lot that is speaking and another that is thinking up gags and silly stories whilst reading auto cue and making sure everything is running smoothly. It's like being a hostess on speed. Try rubbing your head with your right hand, patting your belly with your left and drawing a figure of eight with both feet in opposite directions. Well, it's that kind of split co-ordination that makes for calm anchoring.
So there we are on Tuesday the 20th of March, one day before the vernal equinox, an eclipse on the way and a full moon, and a somewhat lunatic feel in the studio. The Nutter came with his props and a shirt patterned with flames. The reason: The festival - Las Fallas.
If you live in Spain you say 'Valenthia', if you have a lisp you say 'Valenthia'. I am neither Spanish or speech-impaired so I opted for a lot of sloppy 's's. Las Fallas is all about 'splosions and spectacle. Around every corner there is somebody letting one off, or a group of people having a bang. The biggest bang gets a prize and the thousands of people that come to witness the spectacle expect one. The faint-hearted are advised to stay away. Our brilliant, and I use that word advisedly, soundman is a pyrotechnical maniac. Understandably, he took his box of tricks and went south. Andy is vegetarian and a firework freak. A man of few words, he will explode with mirth if you want to talk about his golden shower, or his sparkler. He has been sorely missed. Andrew Nutter also loves fireworks.
Using goats cheese, sun dried tomatoes, rocket (get it?) and blanched potato rounds, Nutter made a wonderful catherine wheel that Andi Peters and I devoured. We noshed on the rolled up cheese wrapped in wheels of spud and savoured Pepquinos (tiny little melons). We nibbled away on the sofa, whilst Andi talked to us about his career, his broken ankle from 'Dancing on Ice', and his love of the show. I got all tearful when he said he would miss us and that his night-times would not be the same without us to share his bed with. He hobbled around the studio, on his crutches, in his plaster cast and agreed to a 'Mastermind' session, in the spotlight, answering questions about GFL. He got them all right until I gave one away by telling him the answer in the question.
Suzie Barrie chose lovely Spanish wines and then we all tried a Sichuan pepper berry. It numbs your mouth, makes you salivate, then gives you a buzzy feeling. I thought I was tripping and then realised I was, as I had caught my foot in Andi's crutch. Nutter's pudding was a frozen bombe with fireworks in the top.
Compliance complained in case anybody under age was thinking of setting fire to their Arctic Roll. Then I was interviewed by the UKTV Food website queen Amanda, and answered all those questions that everybody wants to know:
- Where do I get my clothes?
- Why is my hair so shiny?
- Do I really like the food?
- Is Jim real?
- And why do Iook so fat and tall on the telly when really I am short and svelt?
Ask John Logie Baird. He started it all.
Anyway, tomorrow is Wednesday and I've got the radiator man coming to bleed my rads and make my flat warm. I'm going to ask him to look at my dvd as well. No, not of the programme. I can't the blooming machine to work.
It's the first day of spring so wake up and smell the daisies. Cu2morrer.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Is Jim Real?????
even Jeni's imagination couldn't create something as PERFECT as Jim........
nor could anybody but Jim put up with the old tart
that'll be a fiver Jim
Jeni I'm so glad I've found your blog as it means I can keep in touch with what you're up to when GFL finishes. Andi Peters was lovely and said the stuff a lot of your fans wanted to. Keep smiling girl! :-)
Why, Why, Why, are you leaving?
My daughter and I think your programme "Good Food Live", is the highlight of the day. We think your presence and style has brought a different slant to the straight forward cooking programmes elsewhere. Your quick wit and flirtatious ways has us in histerics. How you put so much food away, and not appear to put any weight on, baffles us! We think you ought to either stay on GFL or start another programme elsewhere, and keep the cult alive. Even our son in Melbourne ,Australia is tuning in to you and thinks you are a Hoot.
Change your mind and Stay,Stay, Stay !!
I am so sorry to see the end of GFL. Its the only programme that I get to watch once i have managed to rid the sofa of two sport deranged sons who are a lot bigger than me. But underhand (and deeply disturbing)methods of torture usually do the trick!!!! all's fair.....
I shall particularly be sorry to see you go Jeni. No matter how rough I am feeling you always manage to lift my spirits. My boys are eternally grateful for the food tips too. Otherwise who knows what would have happened to them!! Nevertheless come a nuclear war only teenagers and cockroaches will survive!!!!Keep up the good work, and if there is any sanity in the world somebody right now is wondering who the pr*t was that made the terrible decision to axe GFL!