You know how some things are so bad they’re good?

Real Food Family Cook Off (7.30pm, Channel 5, Tuesday 20 September) couldn’t even claim that. Unlike its Channel 5 predecessor, the Jean-Christophe Novelli-fronted Family Food Fight with Flora, this Tesco-funded effort had no redeeming qualities. It was just plain bad.

Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t a food programme be presented by people with a connection to food that extends beyond a few appearances on Celebrity MasterChef? The endlessly irritating rugger smugger Matt Dawson and blonde blandshell Lisa Faulkner just didn’t cut it for me (No, Matt, the dire Mitch and Matt’s Big Fish and Monster Munchies do not count neither, Lisa, does your Spooks character’s unfortunate encounter with a deep fryer).

Maddeningly, Ainsley Harriott, who does know a bit about food, was relegated to the sidelines (as the main judge alongside a rotating sleb, this week, Strictly’s Anton du Beke). No wonder he looked subdued. Or was it embarrassed?

He certainly had cause to be. While a year’s worth of Tesco groceries and a kitchen full of Samsung gadgets are up for grabs for the winner, there seemed to be bog-all in this for the viewer.

Each round, the contestants this week stay-at-home mums and avid food bloggers, Meg and Filipa must prepare dishes that, as Dawson inanely put it, fit one of “eight mood food categories that reflect the way we eat and live”.

I’m not sure Meg’s Gnocchi with Bloody Mary sauce would be many people’s idea of a Family Favourite. That wasn’t my main problem with it though. My problem was that it looked absolutely disgusting, as did the (not so) Fabulous Fish Pie.

The judges were not impressed and although they perked up after round two’s Tuna Steak and Wasabi Mash and Peri-Peri Chicken, I’m guessing the invitation to visit Channel 5’s website “if you would like to try any recipes” did NOT elicit a flood of inquiries. Meg couldn’t even boil a spud, for Crissakes! Who’d want to emulate that?

And, more to the point, what on earth was Tesco thinking financing this tosh? Real Food Family Cook Off? Real waste of money more like.

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