Chef! – tape 1838

First on this tape, Chef! by Peter Tilbury. In Do The Right Thing Gareth is visited by health and safety, and is concerned about the provenance of some partridges.

Is it heresy to say that I don’t think Lenny Henry is a very good actor? It’s odd, because his character performances in his sketch shows are often extremely good, but when he plays regular blokes, he seems less convincing. Perhaps it’s just too many years watching him on Tiswas.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 22 September 1994 21.30

The next episode is A River Runs Thru It. Gareth discovers a highly talented chef languishing in a tiny restaurant (Ian MacNeice) and hires him as his assistant chef. One problem – he’s an alcoholic.

Ian MacNeice

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 8 September 1994 21.30 – the timing of this listing leads me to think that the show was run out of order. But the continuity announcer says, at the start of this episode that it’s a new series. And usually they flag when things are not the same episode as billed in the Radio Times (the source of the Genome listings).

A Diploma of Miseries sees Gareth appearing on a talkshow hosted by Frances Barber. Roy Hattersley is the guest before him.

Roy Hattersley in Chef


Gareth is very rude about his wife on the show, and spends the rest of the episode trying to apologise.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 29 September 1994 21.30 – this is probably correct because the announcer flags that Crimewatch is on the next week, and the next episode is on in two weeks’ time.

The next episode is Masterchef. Everton is developing his signature dish, with the help of Mark Williams as a policeman.

Mark Williams

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 13 October 1994 21.30

Next episode is Private Lives. The private lives of the staff all start intruding on the kitchen.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 20 October 1994 21.30

The next episode is England Expects. Gareth is invited to compete in a prestigious international cookery competition. Cue lots of french chefs doing comedy french accents and calling them rosbifs.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 27 October 1994 21.30

After the last episode, there’s a trailer for The Vicar of Dibley and Murder in Belgravia – The Lord Lucan Affair.

Then the recording runs out during Inside Story. 



  1. Based on his review of “England Expects,” Victor “only good thing about ‘The Evening Standard'” Lewis-Smith agrees with you about Lenny Henry.

    1. Yes, if you dig out a copy of Lewis-Smith’s Inside The Magic Rectangle, the compendium of his reviews, the piece on Chef is one of the most interesting. His comment “This week Chef is angry, but then Chef is always angry, shouting like Basil Fawlty but without the jokes” really sums up the series for me, but he also points out that much of the episode revolves around “Chiltern Valley” wine and how good it is, and that appeared to be a real brand.

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