Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Ready, Steady, Die..................


The Sock sees that TV chef Anthony Bogroll Thompson has been trying to poison people again - and this time not with his food! Thompson (who has no redeeming feature and outranks all in the gardening celeb world on the annoyance factor scale) advised the use of henbane as a salad leaf thus exposing readers of Healthy & Organic Living magazine to the possibility of a Crippen-style death. Thompson had of course meant to recommend fat hen an edible weed. An easy mistake to make, a mere slip of the tongue and one could argue that anyone daft enough to follow Thompson's advice had it coming.

This brings the Sock to another concern however. It is by no means the first time that misinformation has been printed in a magazine or book. The Bedsock wasted a load of expensive food ingredients following one of Marco Pierre White's recipes only to discover that there was never any chance of it working as the quantities had been printed wrong - this was far from an isolated incident. We understand that with many of the 'coffee table cook books' the recipes printed aren't given the rigorous sort of testing you get from Good Housekeeping.

How many mistakes are printed in gardening books either through misprints or general misinformation? The Sock herself fell foul of an untallTattongoldmedalwinner when he gave the wrong pruning information on a TV programme thereby causing the early demise of one of her favourite shrubs. Bogroll-Thompson is not the only killer out there!

17 comments:

Sarah said...

Steady on Sock. You know perfectly well that was a programme editing problem - which there seems to be a lot of problems with on GW along with production failings. CB explained that to you at Chelsea 2006 didn't he?

Crusty Bedsocks said...

Well I expect he was too scared to take responsibility while surrounded by Sockettes! He's only a tiny gardener! LOL!

HappyMouffetard said...

James Martin ('celebrity chef') once said that beetroot leaves were poisonous. I would suggest they are considerably more edible than the roots.

Arabella Sock said...

I know he said at Chelsea that the programme editors had taken out the phrase "and don't cut back past where the leaves start". But afterwards I felt that perhaps he had been let off too gently and that I had fallen for his big blue eyes and boyish charms as so often happens.

Anyway it is now my belief that presenters need to take more responsibility for what is actually broadcast in their name!

Arabella Sock said...

Hi Happymouffetard

James Martin's wikipedia entry refers to him as "An English celebrity chef". And then goes on to detail his rise to celebrity through the usual programmes including Richard and Judy, Ready Steady Cook, Blue Peter and Strictly Come Dancing!!! So we can't really expect too much from him any more on the chef side. Can't say I like beetroot either.

I do hope that the rumour regarding Matthew Wilson taking part in the next Strictly Come Dancing is true. I have the inevitable pictures and gifs all ready!

VP said...

I blame a lot of this on the demise of proof reading as an essential item in magazine/book production.

Spellcheckers (even if they're used), simply don't cut the mustard!

I don't know if there's an equivalent to blame in the telly world though - it's just sloppy broadcasting?

emmat said...

Having many times been the victim of a helpful subeditor (including them changing the correctly specified sex of well-known masculine garden designer Kim Wilkie to female, removing correct information about the current job title of Tim Richardson, and changing the correct spelling of "affected" to "effected" - and no guys, it wasn't that one example of "effected change" that you are allowed) all I can say is that we media types try our hardest to get things right but often it is just not that simple.

Sometimes being a team is great though - I have one particularly good subeditor who has saved me from terrible mistakes before - in particular, one about the fictional "Tulipa viridifolia" which I had managed to type in one place - but on a paper or tv programme you work as a team, and the weakest member will always let you down. I never see my work after it has been subbed, and they wouldn't let me even if i asked because I might complain about changes. That's just not the way it works, and I imagine that it would be pretty unusual for the BBC to show Chris B the segment with him in before it was shown on TV.

my advice would be always always check things you see on TV with the RHS website, which seems to me to be the most consistently accurate vis a vis things like pruning. It's really good especially with things like vegetables to check a few sources - not least because you then know what the range of opinion is on a subject.

Phew, I can be really serious and dull when I try eh?

emmat said...

Ps obviously I am very sorry about the hebe.

Arabella Sock said...

Ha ha! Don't worry I made sure everyone was very sorry about the hebe. It was a long time ago now but after some years in therapy I'm getting over it.

I'm glad that Chris Beardshaw has turned out to be blameless - we don't want our saints falling off their pedestals.

VP said...

Emma - sorry if I offended you. I'm so ignorant of the world of subbing :(

Fat Rascal said...

Interestingly enough, after reading these comments I went and had a look at J A-S's blog.

There is a photo of a geranium which he said was Rozanne. I immediately thought - the nursery sent me the wrong plant, mine doesn't look like that!

He corrects his mistake (it's Salome) but I assumed he was right even though I knew he wasn't, just because it was him!

Anonymous said...

I believe even Saint Delia had to have a lot of books withdrawn and pulped because the recipe told you to boil a tin of something like treacle, but omitted the bit about piercing it first......
lots of nasty explosions and burns.
Anyone else heard that or did I dream it?
I don't think we should dwell on the 'hebe incident', let's let the wounds heal

Arabella Sock said...

I love the exploding treacle story and I wouldn't worry too much about it being true or not.

It put me in mind of my first year at the girls grammar school when we had to make steamed suet pudding with treacle in a cookery lesson. There wasn't enough time to cook the wretched thing properly so we had to take the half steamed product with home in a basin with the by now very runny treacle. On the bus home it fell over in my new satchel. There was spilt treacle all over that and all my school books and then it dripped out of the satchel and all over the bus which by now was filled with jeering boys. Another day - another mental scar...

VP said...

My similar mental scar involved a tub of hazelnut yoghurt all over the books in my satchel, including my german homework. Miss Howlett was very scary...

Anonymous said...

Group therapy, anybody?
it'll be cheaper if we go as a group.
We could perhaps to that gradual exposure thing to treacle puddings and hebes?
Or in Madame Szqkldwhock's case, gradual exposure to CB would do the trick, I think.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that, I was distracted

emmat said...

i can't believe Chris Beardshaw killed your hebe.