I’m to­tally use­less. It’s like be­ing on a date when you’re 15

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

OUR ap­petite for new food pro­grams, ap­par­ently, is in­sa­tiable. De­spite which, you may still find Bill Granger’s lat­est of­fer­ing a bit hard to swal­low. As I do.

Now Granger seems like a per­fectly de­cent chap: fresh­faced de­spite his fash­ion­able five-day growth, nice to his kids, and a ca­pa­ble, if pre­dictable, cook.

But here, as the cen­tral fig­ure of a food se­ries shot in and around Bri­tain for a Bri­tish food net­work, he is pre­sented as a Oz-bas­sador of sorts — an Aus­tralian Rick Stein, Jamie’s Aussie older brother, or per­haps the ob­ject of one of Gor­don’s ir­ra­tional rants about Down Un­der.

But in all hon­esty, is he up to it? Does he pro­ject the sort of rugged in­di­vid­u­al­ism we like to see in our rep­re­sen­ta­tives abroad and imag­ine ex­ists in our­selves?

Or does he look more like an Easter bilby — a frail chap who would not make it through the first round with Dame Edna. Or even Lara Bin­gle. Let alone Cur­tis Stone.

The premise is fine: charm­ing, boy­ish Bill sets out in a cute Mini panel van with his adorable kids to ex­plore the UK and sam­ple its wares. Pretty much in the way Rick Stein did it, but with tod­dlers, in a less rugged ve­hi­cle and, as far as one can tell, less com­mit­ment to get­ting down and even mod­er­ately dirty, and less vir­tu­osic cook­ery.

In the first episode, Granger and daugh­ters stay in a lav­ish, African sa­fari-style camp­site in Es­sex, whence Granger boldly sets out to bag some trout. He is handed a fly rod, given some ba­sic in­struc­tion, but is un­able to get the fly far past his im­pec­ca­ble (smart ca­sual) shoes, mainly be­cause no­body ex­plained the bit about stiffen- ing up the wrist when you cast.

Mer­ci­fully the owner of these chal­leng­ing waters — a trout farm, ac­tu­ally — gave him some fish. Which he cooked, in a rou­tine man­ner, for his daugh­ters, whom he had ap­par­ently aban­doned at the camp­site. Gosh.

Next, Granger vis­ited a goat farm to get some black­berry ice cream to ac­com­pany the fresh black­ber­ries he had in­structed his daugh­ters to pick, per­haps be­cause he is not fond of bram­bles. There, he tried to milk an un­usu­ally af­fa­ble and ea­gerto-be-milked goat but, once again, failed mis­er­ably.

‘‘ I’m to­tally use­less,’’ he con­fided to the cam­era. ‘‘ It’s like be­ing on a date when you’re 15.’’

Um, thanks Bill. We get the pic­ture. We think . . .

Nanny state: Aussie Bill Granger, un­leashed on the UK with his kids in a Mini van, couldn’t milk a goat.

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