December 9th, 2008

Fishy Circumstances

Televisual news

Reading this morning's obituary's for Oliver Postgate, the truth seemed strange indeed. T.V. series like "Noggin the Nog", "The Clangers", and "Pogle's Wood" seem like the names of series you'd make up if you had to make up a list of children's t.v. series; yet they were each lovingly-crafted shows. Now too, I finally know where major_clanger's username came from.

I've never seen any of them. This is generally true of me and children's television shows, but in this case, I also grew up in the wrong country to have stood a chance at encountering them. I'll be able to see the memorials, though, thanks to the towering new aerial on our roof. The installer used the scaffolding and installed it on the chimney that's externally half ours, internally not-at-all, and entirely rebuilt as of last week. I'm hoping no more work needed to be done on it. That our neighbor had a new antenna installed himself yesterday bodes well for this. The residual scaffolding made the installation job particularly straightforward.

In other televisual news, I'm sure you'll all find it gripping to know that Eurovision is going to yet another voting model for next year: half juried, half popular vote.

Gordon Ramsay's Taste of Christmas

The Taste Company (or whatever they're called) organized one of my favorite yearly events: Taste of London. This year, they've branched out into their first Taste of Christmas at Excel, a direct competitor to the BBC Good Food Show. I went on Saturday with fjm and C., through a hall of artificial, falling snow, to explore it.

When they called it "Gordon Ramsay's Taste of Christmas", they weren't kidding. It really was a Gordon Ramsay show. Enormous booths giving out samplers of G&T mixed with Gordon's, as advertised by Ramsay. Half of the 8 restaurants available for sampling were Ramsay properties. The pseudo-pub in the back corner was Ramsay-branded. There were Ramsay book-signings for Ramsay books. There were enormous photos of the celebrity chef. Every admission ticket came with a ticket for the Ramsay cooking demonstration show. This months' Restaurant magazine tells me he's the world's best-paid chef. No wonder, with all that sponsorship and his face all over the place. He's an industry. Gordon Ramsay Holdings is growing about as fast as Pizza Express, apparently.

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No question, but I prefer Taste of London to this, but I'd consider going back, ideally on a more off-peak day when, by early afternoon, the corridors aren't choked with solid masses of humanity.