Published On: Sun, Jan 4th, 2015

America Doesn’t Crave Nigella Lawson’s ‘The Taste’


Added to her stormy personal life and public embarrassments, Nigella Lawson’s “The Taste” is likely to flop in America like a failed souffle, according to the Mirror, and might not be extended beyond February. The show was cancelled by BBC’s Channel 4 after only one series, and it doesn’t seem to have stronger changes on this side of the pond. Deadline Hollywood said the show, which features chefs engaged in a death match to impress judges who decide based on a suspenseful taste test, is “up in the air.”

Nigella Lawson is the judge with the superior taste buds and is also joined by expert chefs Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre and Marcus Samuelsson. The Taste only attracted 3 million viewers on New Year’s Day, a dramatic slump from its peak of 7 million. Social media alternatives, the failure to attract under 50s, and cooking show fatigue may be to blame.

Commenters on social media made remarks like “It left a bad taste in my mouth, ” and one said “It is the worst show in recent years … intolerable.” Still others questioned the need for yet another cooking show.

This should be an added blow to Nigella, the daughter of Nigel Lawson, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher. She has had to endure an ugly and public divorce from Charles Saatchi, which included photos of Saatchi publicly grabbing her by the throat. Next came her admitting to taking cocaine and smoking grass in front of her children, although adding she is not an addict. As a result, she had to re-apply for her work Visa in the United States, where even suspected, but not proven, drug users can have their visas cancelled or blocked. To top it all off, Nigella had testify in a fraud case involving Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, assistants at Saatchi. The two sisters claimed Nigella said they could continue to spend money as long as they kept Nigella’s drug use a secret from her then husband.

We should hope Nigella doesn’t have a bona fide cocaine habit, for her and her family’s sake, but also, if the show is cancelled, she is unlikely to afford it. With such a drama filled life the balabusta (she’s Jewish, don’t let the surname fool you) should do her own reality show, if she and the public can stomach it.

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