He looks like a maiden aunt, speaks so slowly it could easily be deemed patronising and the programme logo - with its lower-case N and three-flame shaped Ss - well, it's just embarrassing. (Its minimalist vibe also jars horribly with the whimsical tone of the programme).
But against all the odds - and despite some of the ingredients in this week's supposed homage to unsung heroes being anything but unsung (even my mum buys sea bass for Crissakes) - Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers (8.30pm, BBC1, Wednesday 1 December) slowly drew me in.
It probably helped that I'd just had a very interesting 90-mile five-hour drive home in the snow after I'd finally got the car moving (how was I supposed to know you're supposed to use second gear?).
But by the time I plonked myself, frazzled, on the sofa, Nigel's soothing tones, over-enunciated instruction and palpable enthusiasm were just the ticket. As were the dishes he whipped up.
We've got friends coming this weekend and I'm definitely going to have a go at the belly pork and chilli and peach salsa. With its Oriental soy and garlic marinade, it actually had proper crackling something that to date has eluded me when I've cooked pork and the salsa, which Slater promised would cut through the richness of the meat, was inspired (peaches are a great accompaniment to ham, why not pork?).
As well as looking delicious, the five recipes did indeed seem simple to prepare sometimes perhaps too simple. I'd noticed in an earlier episode Slater proclaiming that a dish containing nuts tasted nutty and this week, he was at it again, with the sea bass dish, which contained lemon and butter and who'd have thunk it apparently tasted lemony and, yup, buttery.
But so what if Slater attempts none of his female namesake's innuendo-laden descriptions (the closest we got was this assessment of the pork: "When it all comes together in the mouth, it's really quite exciting"). This was utter food porn and essential viewing for anyone who wants to attempt something a bit different.
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