The nation’s publicans were already struggling before Covid, and the pandemic has only made things worse. Who better than the genial TV chef to invest
The nation’s publicans were already struggling before Covid, and the pandemic has only made things worse. Who better than the genial TV chef to investigate what can be done
I did not foresee that I would need to warn you to take care of your tender heart when watching Saving Britain’s Pubs With Tom Kerridge (BBC Two). I assumed from the title and all our many years of viewing experience and training in the “reality/makeover/salvation of inanimate entities” genre that this would be a gentle jog-trot through a revamp of a tired old boozer or two, possibly with a recalcitrant landlord adding a little spice by initially resisting clearly much-needed change before coming to see the error of his broken-veined, whiskery ways. A lighter version of Gordon Ramsay Goes Mad at Morons – or whatever his latest franchise is called – given that TV chef Kerridge is a preternaturally gentle presence.
Instead, we got a much more dense and moving slice of life, contemporary business, British social history and a lot of other things in between – including, yes, some personal backstories and a touch of recalcitrance, but as part of a much wider picture. An entire sociocultural and commercial ecosystem is laid out for us, instead of furiously edited material manipulated to give us a vision the producers had had in mind all along. It feels very strange to be treated with such unexpected respect and concern as a viewer; I hope the participants enjoyed the rare experience as much at their end.