Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club: Review

Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club
Channel 4, Thursday 6 Dec, 9PM

We as a nation have been wronged, and now, as part of Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club, Jamie Oliver is demanding food justice. For too long we have stood in the shadow of countries like France, with their fine cuisine and highfalutin wine. Perhaps, in a way, we’re to blame. After all, British food hasn’t always been quite so brilliant, as Jamie is quick to point out.

“When we were nippers,â€? he insists during the programme’s opening minutes, “our food was all Pop Tarts and boil in the bag stuff.â€?

Thank God that Britain has since undergone an entirely fictitious, Channel 4-fronted food revolution. Now, of course, our dishes are considered to be some of the best in the world — in the eyes of absolutely no one.

We surely deserve some kind of food medal. Or better still, we deserve a place on what Jamie’s calling “the world stageâ€?—an imaginary pedestal that exists only in his mind. So together with his oldest and dearest pal, Jimmy Doherty, Jamie is ensuring that we grab that pretend position by opening up a little pop-up café at the end of Southend pier.

If it sounds like an odd solution to Jamie’s woes about the reputation of British food, then that’s because it is. In fact, the entire show is a perplexing mish-mash of strange ideas. One moment we see Alan Carr choking on a burger while riding a rollercoaster, and the next we’re being shown a circle of brie getting a spray tan.

This is seemingly the stuff of Jamie’s dreams, written down and then handed to his production company. One confusing segment sees the boys trying to make a cheese that tastes like Essex (i.e. like crap), which somehow requires Jamie to dress up as a cartoon cow. Then, suddenly we’re on a farm where Jimmy is squeezing milk from a goat’s udder into Jamie’s face.

It’s at this point you really just have to just accept that this is vehicle for Jamie and Jimmy to have some silly fun. That stuff about Britain on “the world stageâ€? was merely a guise to get viewers to watch Jamie get within squeezing distance of a lactating goat.

That is, at least, until the mood becomes briefly, bizarrely serious when Jimmy accuses viewers of not eating enough bull’s penis.

We’re not told what the nutritional benefits of eating a cock are (although it doesn’t seem to have done Tulisa’s career any harm). Are there vitamins in a bull’s penis that we can’t get from vegetables? Obviously not. But then, that would ruin this bafflingly morbid and condescending segment of the programme.

All of this plays out like a particularly irritating food edition of Top Gear: the entire show seems to be less about food and more about Jamie and Jimmy dicking around — quite literally.

Which perhaps begs the question: where next for Jamie and his increasingly strange TV programmes? Jamie’s Patisserie Motorway perhaps? Jamie’s Monkey Tennis?