Clarissa Dickson Wright died in March of this year. It was a moment of real sadness for me, since over time Two Fat Ladies, the cooking program she co-hosted in the 1990s with Jennifer Paterson, has given me as much pleasure as any other TV show I can think of, and possibly as much as any other form of entertainment has.
Many times since the show stopped broadcasting (after Jennifer’s death in 1999), I have been surprised what little interest the Internet has shown in cataloguing its details. The program was a massive hit in Britain, even a significant one here in America, and yet to this point there hasn’t been so much as a proper fan site published. In an era when episodes of television series are obsessively recapped and publicly picked apart the moment they air, this is unacceptable.
Consider this. Recently, following a tough day at the office, I came home and worked through my frustrations by making a good meal in the kitchen. As I cooked, I remembered something clever Jennifer once said about businessmen making dinner after a hard day’s work. Google though I might, I couldn’t find the quote. Fortunately, the age of streaming digital video is a golden one for solving these sorts of problems, and in short order I was able to find it:
Very good for the busy businessman to come home and make a serious meal. It would calm them down no end. In fact, I do know some who do; they come home and they settle down and cook a proper dinner, and they find it relaxing, you know, after those ghastly things they do in the city, with stocks, and shares, and destroying each other’s reputations.
As I say, in this day and age it is unacceptable, no, unforgivable, that such a brilliantly phrased observation should not be preserved for posterity, along with the kitchen advice and lore, marvelous references, historical anecdotes (both real and imaginary), etc., that were such an integral part of the program. So, here is my attempt to do so.
I should note that this isn’t a cooking blog, although as I said I do like to cook and have done a number of the recipes from Two Fat Ladies. I am starting out viewing this as a detailed episode guide written from a fan’s point of view, although from time to time I may supplement with posts about my attempts to try recipes, should I make any. As I am an American, I am using U.S. spellings throughout.
We are just over two years out from the twentieth anniversary of the first Two Fat Ladies series, and I am hopeful by the time we reach it I will have every episode covered here. Obviously, BBC owns all rights to the program; I make no claim on these and am not profiting from this blog in any way. Most images are found; if you are the rightful owner of one, please contact me and I will happily remove it.
Enjoy. — WK