Antony Worrall Thompson today hit out at those who have recently questioned the integrity of his ITV1 programme Saturday Cooks Live, and its spin offs, Daily Cooks and Christmas Cooks, following the criticism that for a show that pretends to be about promoting innovative and inventive culinary ideas, being sponsored by McCain Oven Chips makes it look a little bit silly.
Speaking from his home in Oxfordshire, Worrall Thompson retorted
We have nothing to apologise for. McCain insist on using only the finest quality Maris Piper potatoes in their Oven Chips. They are low in salt, sugar and saturated fat – a boon in these health conscious times – and are the perfect accompaniment to Chicken Dippers and Pizza Fingers. Or why not try them in a sliced pain rustique along with just a light sprinkling of Cayman Island sea salt and a splash of 15-year-old balsamico di Modena?
Once we had stopped our tape recorder, Mr Worrall Thompson continued
What the fuck was that all about, eh? Why is it always me you get stuck into? You never go after Gordon Ramsay do you? Oh no, because he’s a “real chef”, while I’m just a “celebrity chef”. Oh really. For Christ’s sake he’s on telly more often than I am! You’ve not had a pop at him for advertising Thresher have you? No, it’s always Wozzer that gets it in the neck. I mean; Thresher, for fucks sake. Talk about falling between two stools, stuck in no-man’s land between Oddbins and Bargain Booze, with Tesco doing the same only better and cheaper and open 24 hours a day. “Wines you can swear by”. Oh that’s clever isn’t it? Well I can swear too. Damn right I can. Cockflaps! There you go, that’s a swear word I’ve just invented. Cockflaps! It’s pathetic. I know the media are always going to be more interested in megastars like that blogger Guido Fawkes or whatever his name is, but on the quiet lesser celebrities like Gordon Ramsay are just as big hypocrites but get a free pass from you lot because they’re not as famous. I tell you, he gets away with murder.
It is believed that McCain fought off stiff competition from both Bachelor’s Super Noodles and Campbell’s Meatballs for the deal to sponsor Saturday Cooks Live. Rumours that Bernard Matthews was interested in using the sponsorship to relaunch their Turkey Twizzler brand could not be confirmed. We did try to contact them but their phone line was continually engaged and does not accept BT RingBack.
This is the second sponsorship row ITV has been involved with in recent weeks. Their genealogy programme “You Don’t Know You’re Born” was criticised as being little more than a piss-poor rip off of the rival BBC show “Who Do You Think You Are?” and simply a sorry excuse to publicise Genes Reunited, the programme’s sponsor and a division of Friends Reunited which ITV recently bought for £120m. On that occasion ITV defended itself robustly, stating that before the show was broadcast their lawyers had assured them that the format, credits and music for the show, while being almost identical to the BBC version, where technically different enough to be “just this side of legal”, so that although it was “as plain as day” what they were up to, the chance of being sued for a copyright infringement was “really quite slim”.