Thursday, January 10, 2008

TV Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is on Channel 4 in a Ghoulish Chicken Cruelty Experiment and I Hate Him Even More Now

Against my better judgment, I watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall abusing chickens and patronising poor people in Hugh’s Chicken Run (Channel 4) this week.

As one could easily guess, Hugh thinks battery-farming chickens is a BAD THING and sets about persuading the hoi-polloi in Axminster, the town near his River Cottage ‘holding’, that they should give up their £2.50 supermarket chickens. Of course, it came across as the Lord of the Manor attempting to be matey with his serfs, but then that’s what we expect from Hugh. You’d think Channel 4 would steer him away from interacting with the public. His dalek-like Old Etonian speech patterns seem even more irritating when they’re directed at ordinary people.

But that’s not the concept on which the show has ghoulishly been focused.

The premise – or gimmick, if we’re honest Channel 4 – is that, because Hugh wasn’t allowed access to any intensive chicken farms, he builds his own to demonstrate just how awful and cruel it is.

Now, you may think this is a bit like Simon Wiesenthal creating his own Auschwitz on his allotment to show us just awful and cruel death camps were. Or Amnesty International torturing Big Brother contestants. Or animal rights activists donning the hunting pinks to pursue a fox. Surely if you’re against cruelty you don’t actively engage in it?

However, all morality and common sense (not to mention a few thousand chickens) are sacrificed on the altar of sensationalist ‘good television’. Now I notice that Jamie Oliver has imported a chicken abattoir into a TV studio for Friday’s crusading 9pm slot.

I have a suggestion for a sequel to this demented nonsense:

‘Hugh and Jamie’s Bargain Bucket’

The two TV chefs are locked naked in a cramped man-sized KFC bucket for a month with only chicken feed to eat and a grille underneath them to shit through. If they survive (obviously Channel 4 will hope that one eats the other, in order to show just how awful and cruel cannibalism is) the people of Axminster can then decide whether to have them executed in a replica of a US-style gas chamber (to show just how awful and cruel capital punishment is) or just stone them to death (to show just how awful and cruel biblical punishments for being a cunt were). Either way, that’s one series finale I’d definitely tune into…

1 comment:

Steve said...

...especially if they allow audience particpation. I'd like to lob a few rocks at Hugh. Purely to see how terrible the guilt and self-disgust would be afterwards. Or not.