Does it get any worse than the terrestrial channels on weekday mornings? It’s just hours and hours of cheerful idiots dressed in primary colours challenging each other to raise more cash.
Adding to the genre comes Cook Me The Money (ITV1, 11am, weekdays), which gives budding chefs the opportunity to discover if the public will pay to eat their food. Offered the chance to open a shiny burger van, or as daytime TV called it, “a pop-up restaurant”, the teams of “hopeful Hestons” were slightly less imaginative than the man himself, dishing up pasta, curry and burgers.
Team Curry were not impressed. “Everyone does pasta and that,” they scoffed. “We’re not in Italy, are we?”
Sadly, no. We were in Leicester, where the teams haggled with butchers, plucked prices out of the air and, with increasing desperation, begged passing shoppers to buy their food. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s just the ‘Food’ episode from The Apprentice, strung out for a whole series. A strange decision - The Apprentice has been formulaic and dull for years.
Stranger still was how little actual cooking was going on. OK, so Team Burger used an old family recipe. But Team Curry just slopped a jar of rogan josh sauce over some chicken and Team Pasta did penne. When no one bought it, they slashed the price to £1 and flew into the lead. Everyone followed suit.
Team Burger eventually won the day, but the price-cutting and subsequent rush of sales undermined the whole concept of the show. Will anyone pay to eat your food? Yes, but only if you flog it for a quid.