My fifteen minutes of fame… as a TV Chef

celebrity chef

As the burgers browned, the film crew filmed. As the sausages sizzled, the sound man dribbled. He played with his fluffy thing too.

When I posted this picture on Facebook, someone had the audacity to ask me why I had a film crew videoing my burgers. ‘Isn’t it obvious,’ I replied, ‘they’re bloody good burgers.’

And they were too. My mate Kev turned up trumps with the recipe – lamb mince, onion, mango chutney, chopped green chilli and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. I forgot the coriander but no one seemed to notice.

Had they been there, John Torrode and Gregg Wallace would have been salivating appreciatively as the burgers were removed from the BBQ bang on time. They were actually removed about five times so Dan the cameraman could get shots of them from every angle.

John and Gregg would have loved the presentation too, with the perfectly roundish patties, together with a fistful of coloured detritus more commonly known as salad placed jauntily into supermarket economy buns.

‘These are the best burgers you’ve ever made, Dad,’ my eldest son pronounced on camera. He’s a clever boy, I only made him rehearse those lines for three days.

I’m now waiting for a call from Saturday Kitchen. But just in case that call doesn’t come, I thought I would try my hand at cycling. How hard can it be? After fifty seven different angles, lenses, planes flying overhead and someone banging next door, I had probably ridden the entire Tour de France distance before they would let me get off my bike.


And then there was the international ‘hang your washing on the line’ world championships. In all my life I have never put so much washing out as I did the other day. They really hung  me out to dry. I wonder what Gogglebox will have to say about how well hung my underwear is. For obvious reasons, I’m not sharing that photo.

The South West London dog show was a classic too. Albus didn’t show any respect for the media luvvies, causing them to change their plans and film him in the park with a long lens rather than in my back garden at close quarters.

‘Why are they filming you doing all that stuff, Dad,’ my youngest asked me, ‘aren’t you a writer?’

Good point, well-made son.

writing through blinds

They had me write in Graham Hope’s voice, as per my debut novel, Six months to Get a Life. ‘Day 36 of being divorced. I joined a dating site today and wrote my profile. Forty-two year old bloke with two kids, a big nose and an even bigger… Etc.’ They got me reading it to camera too.

To cut to the chase, I have had a film crew invading my house this week, filming for a documentary to go out on the BBC. They are coming back next week too, with a drone of all things, hopefully not the sort that takes out international terrorists.

The documentary’s working title is ‘Up and Coming Superstar Authors Called Ben’. Oh no, they scrapped that title. ‘Good looking eligible middle-aged bachelors’. Sorry, that was last month’s.

‘A Life Less Lonely’ is the actual working title for the programme. They were talking to me about what it is like to be a single dad after being a husband in a nuclear family; about what it is like to be a writer, working from home all day as opposed to co-existing with others in a busy office environment, and about dating once your hair has started going grey.

The programme will feature a variety of people, of all ages, and from different walks of life. It was fun to be part of it, and I can’t wait to peek at it from behind the sofa. If you want to follow developments, look up #alifelesslonely on Twitter.

I’m not going to tell my Mum about it though. I noticed after they had filmed me typing my second novel, which I sent off to my editor this week, that I had ink under my thumbnail.

More about my second novel next time…