Thursday, 9 April 2015
134 The Galloping Gourmet
First watched : Summer 1973
This was a thrice weekly fixture at 11.35 a.m. Along with Fanny Craddock, host Graham Kerr was part of the first wave of TV chefs. Although Kerr was born in London and served in the British Army for five years his TV career began in New Zealand where he was working for the Air Force. He then moved to Canada where this show was made between 1969 and 1971. The name came from a book Kerr published about an international trek he made to the world's great restaurants with wine expert Len Evans. The show was recorded with a live audience with Kerr enjoying mild banter with and heckling from the audience and the odd glass of wine while he was cooking.
The show ended when he had a serious car accident and then his wife was wrongly diagnosed with lung cancer. Both recovered and Kerr resumed his career with other shows in the US but he's never had as high a profile here since.
For a while Kerr's stage name became synonymous with anyone who tried to put the boat out in their cooking but eventually dropped out of use as we all began taking our food deadly seriously. Bad food is one of the main charges we like to bring against the seventies and Kerr's fat-heavy recipes have joined Wimpy and Berni Inns in the sin-bin. Still he should be recognised as a trailblazer for Harriott, Ramsey and the rest which is actually a more serious charge.