Brooms and stuff.

Posted by Jeni in LBC | 4 August 2008

Dear all,

I love that many of you want me back on UKTV food, but here's the thing:

When GFL came off, last April, I mourned and moaned, wept and wished. However, the powers that be decided that having a hugely successful, highly rated, fun, brilliant, informative show, was not as good as having Market Kitchen.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why they felt I had to go. Age? I doubt it. New brooms sweeping the corridors of power? Probably. But more importantly they didn't take into account the millions of you who watched it for all the wonderful chefs, their stories, and the cultural importance of understanding the politics of food.

When food becomes the province of the middle and upper classes you know we're in trouble.

And we are. My industry is panicking, its arms flailing.

LBC has not only been a life line for me, but in 8 months I am constantly surprised by the power of real public broadcasting. I feel I have a usefullness matched only by GFL.

The fact that I am an unashamed exhibitionist makes being unseen a new experience but I love my job and heres why:

The callers; who are mostly articulate, thinking, sentient human beings.

The subjects; today, for instance, I talked to a reformed gangland thug who is now an evangelical priest. He was in New Zealand we were in Latimer Road.

Fostering, and stories of survivors that made me realise just how lucky I really am.

And of course food. I don't know why I say of course, we rarely talk food.

Today, however, we talked about unusual foods based on the menu of street fare from Beijing - sea horse skewers, dog liver and vegetables and - well enough it's late and you may be drinking your hot chocolate.

The people at LBC are supportive and wonderful to work with. The industry is in turmoil so we are all aware that at any moment we could be scrabbling around on the scrapheap of the media junk yard.

Listen don't get me wrong, I haven't gone all soft and brown-nosed, but I am delighted to be of service and I can only hope that if any new broom were to come in it would be kicked out from underneath their lilly livered bums!

Blimey that's feisty for 23.39.

night night


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


1. At August 5, 2008 7:02 AM chrissie wrote:

It’s not just that we don't see you on TV but that very fact underlines the real problem. It's institutional arrogance. They choose to give us, the poor punter, what they want. What they want has got nothing to do with good TV but is decided by other agendas. It seems that our tastes and likes are not considered and we are expected to be grateful.

You are personally popular so you must be doing something right. Perhaps we like an "unashamed exhibitionist" or we wouldn't be listening to your radio spot and reading your blog!

Love chrissie x x

2. At August 5, 2008 12:53 PM Fee wrote:

I think the thing that stuck in the craws of most folk was who you were replaced with, it was nepotism at its worst. Your replacements were talentless and charisma free.

I can't say much more because I stopped watching the whole channel - not just the replacement programme.

But you're doing fine where you are, I'm sure LBC has a greater audience than UKTVFood ever will have - it's just a shame that we don't see your happy smiling face any more on t'telly. I still remember the "strap on" scene in the garden with the wine chap (I've forgotten his name), it was the funniest thing on telly for ages. You had such a rapport with the guests and that was (is) your greatest strength.

Their loss in the end, it will come back to haunt them, but you've moved on.

Onwards and upwards girl, embrace the universe!

Love and hugs xxxx Fee xxxx

3. At August 5, 2008 5:23 PM rhianon wrote:

Chrissie, you are right. The general media seems to feed us what they assume we want. And what we then get is a shocking reflection on the paucity of their imaginations and the low regard the programme planners have for the viewing public. Maybe they think we're all as witless as them.
We have something like 700 chanels on sky and most of the time there is nothing on any of them I want to see.
It's a pity whoever the suits are who decide what we watch don't want to hear from us. And before you say anything, yeah, I agree. My grammar is as sharp as a pigs arse.

4. At August 6, 2008 12:53 AM Ted wrote:

Hello you.

I am now in carrot crunching land [Suffolk].
The only ‘Talk radio’ available is full of louts talking about football and cricket [I’d rather watch paint dry].
I wouldn’t ever run LBC’s other presenters down but I have to say that yours is the only show that I never turn off {sky}.
I have seen you doing the food thing but, on the radio, you have truly excelled.

I long for the day when DAB radio doesn’t only make local stations available but makes all radio stations, world wide, accessible to all regardless of current local restrictions the survival of the fittest [radio stations] shall prevail i.e. so that we can hear you in the car in Lowestoft or anywhere.

Having just heard your non-denominal religious ‘sound bite’ between progs I can say that I agree i.e. that in the religious belief department my name is under the column ‘undecided’ save slight preference to Buddhism which we perceive more as a philosophy than a religion…

The only department in which I could be of use to you in a broadcasting sense would be in the driving instruction/test changes soon to be initiated and the failings in the governing body to listen to those on the front line [on an un named basis]…i could go

I hope there’s something here encouraging/helpful but please; this doesn’t need a reply. You must spend enough time typing..

Thanks for your broadcasts and please don’t ever retire.

Very best loving regards,


5. At August 12, 2008 10:35 PM Mo wrote:

Hi Jeni,

I agree with Fee here, that day you were in the garden with Ollie made me laugh so much. It was your sense of humour and the fun you had with guests that made the show so watchable as well as informative. I stopped watching the channel when they took GFL off. It went from being my must watch to nothing of interest because I never even watched 1 episode of the replacement! I love your radio show and always make time to listen to it when I'm off.

Keep up the good work, even though we don't get to see you your personality still shines through on the radio!

6. At August 23, 2008 7:31 PM Joanna wrote:

I am a resident of 20 years in the town you live in. I occasionally see you around and have to resist to come and tell you how fabulous your LBC show is in the afternoons. I just love it.

Thank you for providing such an interesting and thought provoking radio show.

As for your dog. I walk daily with my dogs on the Ashdown and understand totally what you are saying.

Jeni.... please give a home to another dog.

Copyright 2007, Jeni Barnett. Website produced by Chopstix.