Courage mon brave

Okay, Good Food Live has finally been confined to the media dustbin. After five years of eating, laughing, interviewing, drinking, posing, munching, crying, learning, the new powers that be decided to take us off air. The set got cruddier, you could see the sellotape holding it together. From a meagre budget we were given pin money. The purse was so shoe string I nearly offered to bring in food from my own larder.
After five years of regularity, of driving right out of the flat, down to Wandsworth roundabout, changing lanes and swinging round Youngs Brewery, also gone, after five years of parking in my own little bay of hugging the security man, of joshing with the receptionists, after five years of eating breakfast with the chefs and crew, of rehearsing, of rollers and paint brushes, of broken zips and high heeled boots, after five years of thinking and immersing myself in the world of food the knives were put back in the drawer, that’s after they were taken out of our backs of course.
Good Food live is over, it is deceased, like Monty Pythons parrot it is no more. It is dead and gone. I now face rudderless days stretching before me.
It’s Tuesday, 5 o’clock. I’ve been shopping, walking, telephoning and dealing with yet more of your wonderful comments.
To all my Brighton buddies, thank you for the invite. I will be down lounging in the Lanes as soon as. To all my tearful friends, I will be back. As to when? Who knows, I have instructed Rob not to get me any firm work until June, and then watch out. You, of course, will be the first to know. If you think I will shut up shop and stop blogging, don’t worry. Life goes on even though GFL has been laid to rest.
My immediate plans are a trip to Bruge with the old man – all because the big Hairy Bikers gave it rave reviews. After that, Jim starts at the Globe so I’m off to India all alone, with my heart in my mouth. I am told it will be a life changing experience, as if my life hasn’t changed enough already. But I will keep notes and then retell my tales.
I saw back one of the old shows. I looked like the Tory candidate for The Royal Berkshire Hunt, but back then I didn’t have the confidence I have now. It’s surprising what five years of live television teaches you.
Honesty is probably the most important attribute when you’re working in front of the camera. Viewers really can see between the lines. I think that is why GFL was such fun – we told it as it was. But like most mini celebrities, I have both a private and public persona. I will do stuff in front of the camera that I would never dream of doing in my real life. I have climbed mountains for the BBC, flown in a tiny aeroplane for ITV and scuba dived for LWT. I am a lousy swimmer, only learning when I was 32, so when I was asked to jump in the deep end of a swimming pool in Victoria, togged up in a wetsuit and flippers, oxgen mask and tank, let me tell you that when I jumped, my body gave in – my wet suit was wet both inside and out. But I did it.
I will, as they say, ‘Risk it for a Biscuit’. When I get it finished, that will be the title of my memoir. I have a meeting tomorrow with an editor. Let’s hope they like my style. That’s it for today. I have to book my ticket for India. Scary stuff. Cu2morrer…

18 thoughts on “Courage mon brave”

  1. Jeni, just wanted to say how very very sad I am that your wonderful GFL has finished.
    You made the show fun, and interesting, you had some lovley chefs and guests, but with you out of the picture it was never as interesting, I still watched the show though when you were away for whatever reason, but what will all your fans do now? I always watched the repeat at 10pm, you never failed to make me laugh out loud for some reason, I wept with Im sure lots of people when I eventually allowed myself to watch the last show on video tape yesterday after taping it on Friday, keep your chin up girl, you are a lovley person, Im sure you arent short of friends in your private life, but rest assured you have a whole crowd more of ‘friends’ in viewers of GFL, I, like someone else has already mentioned think that sadly UKTV FOOD will go down the pan a bit now, with no GFL and more importantly, no Jeni Barnett!, well ‘how very dare they’!
    I will miss you Jen, I hope to see you on screen soon, maybee just a few days on Mathew Wright or something like Loose Women, anything is better than nothing!
    Hope the powers that be can find it in their hearts to give us back our favorite programme and presenter some time in the near future.
    Until then, take care, Love to you , the family and of course Jackson (my surname sake!).
    June from Bournville, Birmingham.

  2. Jeni, as ever you just inspire and amaze me. India on your tod? That is something I haven’t had the courage to tackle, but you know what? When you come back and tell us all about your trip I may be on that first plane to experience it myself.
    I wish you well and hope to see you on the screen soon. And if you write that memoir then I’ll be first in line to purchase!

  3. Well Jeni it’s been four days and I still can’t stop crying. I recorded the last show and just keep watching it over and over, you did a fab job as always.
    “What will I do now?” I keep asking myself AWT is very very boring for my taste but he does have all our favourite chefs on so I suppose it’s worth watching every once in a while and there is always the GFL repeats on UK Food. Can’t wait to see you back on the telly, you always bring a smile to my face love ya

  4. It’s amazing to see the earlier editions of your show. You’ve changed. I see what you mean about “The Tory member for…..” And yup, we all do things for our jobs we’d never do for ourselves. I work with elderly people with learning disabilities, and I fight battles for them I’d run a mile from if it was for me. It’s bizzare work, alternately heart breaking and hysterical. I love my little old dears, but they’re nuts!
    Nah, India? Talk about jealous! I’m dead envious! I always think of George Harrison when India is mentioned. And all those palaces that seem to float on water.
    Enjoy it, sounds like every hippies dream!

  5. Hi its me again,
    How about a trip down here to Carcassonne? Free meals and wine and a warm welcome!!I am so pleased that I don’t have to get homesick for GFL as I can’t get UKTVF on our system here in France anyway.
    PLEASE let us know what you are doing and continue with this site as its a fantastic read for me every day.Wish you were just next door so I could hand you some wine (or beer) over the garden wall.

  6. Hi Jeni,
    I just heard them say before GFLE today that you will be returning in the autumn! Is this true? I do hope so.
    You will love Bruge, great beer, great chocolate and of course mussels & chips (and a gallon of mayo).
    Good call to go to Belgium before India, Belgium would seem somewhat lacklustre the other way round. Make sure you go with a half empty suitcase, you’ll need the space after visiting the markets 🙂
    Enjoy your time off!
    Ben & Yeun san

  7. Enjoy Bruge and go wild in India! A trip to Little Lhasa is well worth it and if he’s in, you can join the queue to meet the Dalai Lama. Truly wonderful. Go to the Tibetan Institute of Astrology building where for a fiver, the monks will tell you what you were in a past life and what you’ll be in the next. The Tibetan artists there produce some of the finest copper-metal ware on the planet and the jewellery is to die for! Heard on the GFL voiceover today that you’ll be back at GFL in the Autumn? Really?! Can it be the petitions worked and we’re getting our Jeni back!
    Keep it glam babe. xXx

  8. Hi you
    As I sit here in Hollywood cool egh!!
    Use this time to rest you are going to need it, I agree India will be a life changing experience there again what isn’t……even a strabger sniling at you in the street can change your life.

  9. Hi Jeni
    As that other great daytime presenter Oprah would say “every positive action gets a positive reaction” or something like that. So I’m glad you’re staying positive and planning trips and enlightenment.
    And when you return your positive vibes will get you the best jobs of that I’m sure!
    Love and thanks – Dusty

  10. Hey Jeni glad you are having a break I’m off to Bruges at May Day Bank Hols, and after watching your show will definately pay a visit to Den Dyvers! Just giggling while typing this as you are trying to eat a scorpian covered in chocolate. Enjoy your break but please come back soon, they can’t replace you with three toffs and a chefs wife….OUTRAGE!!!
    love to you and yours
    Libby x

  11. Only this afternoon I titled one of my profile pages with ‘Remember, risk it rhymes with biscuit’. How funny that I should read it here now.
    Anyway, glad to hear that you’re going to have a good rest and some adventures. A female friend of mine sold up and went off on her travels starting in India last year. She had an amazing time. If she did, you will!
    I did smile today watching the earlier shows.
    Have fun! Rob x

  12. Just a quick note. If you’re all feeling really low knowing that we won’t have our daily fix of Jeni, then have a quick look at you tube or Google video. Theres a 17 second clip of a baby panda sneezing. Hillarious. It’ll make you smile. It made me laugh!

  13. hi jeni
    so glad you are keeping up the blogging……….it feels odd watching the programmes this week….you don’t seem comfortable doing the links and we don’t have to wonder why!!!!!
    enjoy bruges with jim
    ….but india…?..
    that’s a whole other kettle of fish (curried with some of those spices you have introduced us all to over the years)
    perhaps you could be the ‘travelling gourmet’…..the lovely lady version of antony bourdain…(without the rattlesnakes) …….but with love and respect for the people and their cuisine…..
    a memoir written as well as this blog is would be a treat too…!!!
    onwards and upwards jeni
    have you seen the sea otters holding hands as they float in circles? sweeeet

  14. A judge on ‘local food heroes’?….hmmm….well, it’s work.
    And I reckon you’ll give it your all- and the schedule may be less demanding than GFL.
    Ha- the old gal’s still employed..(no offence, of course!0
    Unless…this has already been recorded?
    Anyway- more updates, please. x

  15. WOW! India,how amazing enjoy! I,m worried about Jackson though. No Jim or Jeni. Who’ll make him his corn on the cob etc? Have a lovely rest then back in the autumn I heard on GFLE???? Can this be true Luv ya x

  16. Hi again Jeni
    What a laugh we had this morning my old boy and me! We both had a day off and watched the last GFL. It was hilarious and we laughed so much. We were not able to watch it last week and I worried that it would not be shown again – fools of course they will show it again and again it is fantastic viewing! I cried a few tears at the end with you and your lovely family – well done for all the wonderful shows. Ihave written this before but I will miss you even my old chap will miss you and he never says too much about anything cookie! Have to agree with the above comments about loose women you would be fantastic for that show as a presenter – what a hoot it would be I would envy you! Listen if you are jogging off to India my best friend in the world is out there in Lahore with her hubby he is head of a school and she is teaching alongside hime. Say hello if you happen upon them they are a great laugh. Be careful my friend Kate says she gets strange looks when she rides her bicycle out there! Have a ball and keep up with the blogging we miss you already good luck with the trip and love to you.
    Kathy R X

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