Television presenters eating in-vision

I think I have a fairly strong constitution.  But there is one aspect of television presentation that really does make me heave. I cannot stand watching people eating or tasting food on camera. To be honest it makes me feel so uncomfortable and even a little nauseous.

I quite enjoy some good and informative food programmes.  And I have occasionally taken the advice offered by these food experts.  I can kind of understand why eating in-vision is included from an editorial point of view. But why put us through these embarrassing, uncomfortable moments?

The sheer action of watching somebody placing food into their mouth on television, chewing  at it and then attempting to make some sort of complementary noise without swallowing and clearing their mouth I find absolutely  horrid. Those few seconds are so unnerving and quite disturbing somehow.

Jamie – don’t do it. Put the cutlery down. Show us the food and walk away.

The fact we have to sit there as a viewer whilst the presenter or contributor is chomping away is not only quite revolting I also find it embarrassing.

I feel sorry for the studio guest who, until this ghastly moment, was highly regarded and quite dignified. Now forced to eat something in front of a television camera for the nation to see and squirm away from. A few seconds of horror before the watershed as tiny fragments of of Delia’s apple pie or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s soup hit the set and the camera. The reputation of a gentile national figure reduced to this! Oh my goodness, this is way too much.

And what do these poor people with their careers now shattered actually say? You just know exactly what the words are going to be eventually – “How delightful” as the poor unsuspecting former world famous film icon reaches for some kitchen towel to cover the mouth and the propelling mess from it! “Wow!  That’s absolutely fantastic!”, “Incredible!” or “that’s really amazing I could eat the lot!”. All dignity evaporated in a moment as the producer desperately encourages the guest to comment on a oozing chocolate creation melting under the heat of the studio lights. I can’t bear to watch as the chef waits for a few verbal morsels.

Strangely though I have never heard “Oh my god! Jamie! That’s disgusting!”, “Where the hell did you get this recipe?” or “Well, Nigella, you’ve really blown it this time!”

It’s just those few seconds where I for one simply have to divert my eyes away from the screen.  Even on regular magazine programmes where contributors are invited to taste something, although the gesture might be good for the piece, I find the whole thing really quite horrendous.  And as for the attempt by even the most polite contributor to speak while they still actually have their mouth full of food – well that’s another blog altogether!

Bon appetite!

Ian Waugh