G*t St*ff*d!! (ITV, goodness knows)
In the 1990s, ITV actually put something of an effort in the fill the late hours of their schedule. There were several strands including LWT’s 3 Nights that were all vaguely under the ITV Night Time banner, and some of these shows were rather good and attracted something of a cult (small viewing figures, carry on…) following.
One of them that was particularly memorable was a crazy cookery show with a difference where the episodes were only about five or six minutes long and various people would show you how to make tasty meals on a budget of tuppence ha’penny.
The show was hosted by two crazy guys called “The Mystery Chefs”, who I also think were the producers of the show, and also practically the whole of the production team it was so low-budget.
Each episode featured a couple of people, usually greasy haired students telling us how to make bizarre meals accompanied by guitar music, slide whistle noises with instructions written on pieces of tatty paper. Indeed, this style was even parodied on The Day Today with Graham Linehan, and there can be no higher praise than that.
I remember watching a few episodes on some tapes from the 1990s, and then for some strange reason, around 2002-2003 ITV1 started a repeat run of various episodes so as they were usually shown at around 4am I decided to set the timer to try and capture as many of them as possible.
I very much enjoyed watching these episodes so about three years ago as I presumed the show would be very obscure by now some people might enjoy seeing some episodes so I put one on YouTube.
Not long after, I got a message saying that my video had been removed following a copyright claim from the production company, giving me one strike. I was very surprised. I presumed the company had long since vanished and nobody would be bothered. I wouldn’t have been too surprised had a claim come from a company such as LWT or Sky, but the only people ever to have given me hassle about my videos were flippin’ two-men-and-a-dog Last Ditch Television?!
Now if you get three strikes, you lose your entire YouTube account so it was lucky that I didn’t upload any more episodes as I was planning to. Also, I noticed that other people who had uploaded episodes of this show got copyright strikes too much to their frustration. The mighty Applemask nearly lost his account because of these plonkers because he uploaded ONE MINUTE of a 20-year-old episode.
I mustn’t sound too bitter though, as I do still really like the show, but it’s a great shame that there are no archive clips online because the dozy company are so precious about it. I can only imagine that The Mystery Chefs are waiting to strike a deal with a company to release all 284 episodes in a fancy DVD boxset. Mmm, tasty!