The latest series of the cookery-themed unreality face-off wheezed its flaccid bulk back on to our screens this week . The show's Gordon Ramsay heyday lasted only the one series, back in 2004, but the stench of the burly Scot continues to hang heavy about the show like the proverbial fart in a lift. So perfectly is the format suited to his abrasive personality that successors Gary Rhodes and Jean-Cristophe Novelli never really had a chance.
Marco Pierre White returns to preside over the latest series - becoming the first chef to last more than a single season in the infernal canteen. He wisely opts not to copy Ramsay's ball-busting linguistic blitzkrieg, preferring to diminish the 'talent' through baleful looks and existential ennui. The array of human offal being fed through this year's mincer is as protein-rich as ever, spearheaded by tragicomic tabloid double-act Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey and rounded off by Danielle Bux, famous for not being Gary Lineker's first wife.
It's not all bad, however. Just 20 years have passed since Adrian Edmondson was somewhere near the cutting edge of UK comedy, while former goalie Bruce Grobbelaar will presumably be showing safer hands in the kitchen than he did during all that 'match-fixing' unpleasantness.
There's also the occasional glimpse of some food between noir-ish close-ups of the self-styled Great White, with one early task testing the celebs' sandwich skills. Amazingly, they just about managed it, with Bovey's traditional club deemed the best.
Altogether, however, the experience makes one pine for the sight of a nude Christopher Biggins gorging on platefuls of terrier-sized maggots. Or perhaps something from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here instead.