Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Farewell To Floyd

I just learned that Keith Floyd died last month of a heart attack at age 65. Who was he? Keith Floyd was a famous TV chef in Britain.

I lived in London from 2001 to 2003. Cooking shows were on TV all the time there, frequently in prime time. I had never been much of a fan of cooking shows in the United States. But one of these British TV chefs in particular really caught my eye. His name was Keith Floyd. His shows had an impromptu quality about them. He filmed on location, rather than in a studio, frequently cooking with a camping stove on boats, beaches and docks. He made mistakes. He occasionally burned himself. People tasted his food and didn't like it. And he drank copiously and continuously on screen, both wines and liquors. But his passion for cooking was strangely infectious precisely because of (and not in spite of) this very unusual on-screen presentation style.

Embedded below is part 1 (of 5) of a TV special that aired just a few days ago in Britain called "A Farewell To Floyd." Part 1 is about 9 minutes. The whole show is about 45 minutes long. It will come as no surprise that the show discusses his predictably messy personal life. He was married unsuccessfully 4 times. He was plagued by financial problems and failed restaurants. He drank and smoked too much off-screen and could, apparently, be "difficult" to work with. But if you watch some of this show, you may be surprised to find him more compelling than you might think.

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