Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fear Of Fanny - The Formidable & Fabulous Fanny Cradock

Last night BBC4 showed “Fear of Fanny” a film about the life of the formidable Fanny Cradock the first lady of television cooks and what a treat it was. With Julia Davis (Of Nighty Night fame) as Fanny and The League of Gentleman’s Mark Gatiss as her long suffering husband Johnny, both giving fantastic performances.

The play followed Fanny’s life from the 1950’s to her sad end in a nursing home in 1994. Along the way she barged through three long running television series, badgering and bullying her husband and anyone else in her orbit, whilst also managing to whip up, over 100 cookery books, a magazine and 4 science fiction novels along the way! No wonder she was addicted to speed, she made Martha Stewart look positively slovenly!

Whilst the public adored her drag queen make-up and bossy, bitchy personae, they drew the line when she verbally assaulted a mild mannered amateur cook who won a national competition, live on TV.

The public never quite forgave her and her long reign as Queen of Britain’s kitchens came to an abrupt end and she was reduced to becoming the comedy old battle-axe on countless chat shows.

Julia Davis portrayed Fanny with all the bitchy, balls we know her for but also revealed a woman driven by personal demons and a determination to escape her own humble beginnings. Hopefully this play will go a long way to restoring the tarnished reputation of one of Britain’s great eccentrics and even greater cooks and it also made for fantastically funny television. Well done BBC4.

Click here for clips of Julia as Fanny

See the real Fanny in action below

More Rank & Bile


Mark said...

I saw that film very funny and quite mad!

jj said...

Love this old bat she's hysterical!