Fanny's Kitchen

Fanny's Kitchen

1955 - United Kingdom

Phyllis Craddock and her third husband Major John Craddock (the second 'd' in Craddock was dropped for professional purposes) were quickly poached from the BBC's Kitchen Magic in 1955 to present ITV's first cookery programme, whereas Fanny and Johnny they quickly established themselves as the country's leading experts on all things culinary. 

They were not the first television chefs. Phillip Harben had first appeared in 1946 with his twenty minute Cookery series of programmes, which guided housewives on the best way to make the most of their ration book allowance. But by 1955 with food restrictions lifted, Fanny, who replaced the standard chefs apron for an evening gown, hanging earrings and pearls, was able to introduce gourmet cooking to a waiting (and one suspects hungry) British public in the style of her Daily Telegraph column, 'Bon Viveur.' 

Fanny Cradock
Fanny Cradock

Although they always appeared as a couple it was clearly the lady who was in charge, gruffly ordering her husband around the kitchen in a style that later led to many a parody from the likes of Benny Hill, who would take great delight in presenting Johhny (usually played by comedian Bob Todd) as a rollicking drunk knocking back the wine and creating all sorts of kitchen disasters. Joke or not, Fanny and Johnny enjoyed a hugely successful TV career that endured until their retirement in the 1970s. 

Fanny's Kitchen
Johnny and Fanny - Benny and Bob

During the course of their career they were ever present on television in series such as Fanny's Kitchen (1955, 1957, 1961), Chez Bon Viveur (1956), The Cradocks (1962), Giving A Dinner Party (1969), Fanny Cradock Invites (1970) and Cradock Cooks For Christmas (1975). They even had a regular spot, 'Happy Cooking' on the children's programme Tuesday Rendezvous (1961-63). Johnny passed away in 1987, Fanny survived him by 7 years. 

Published on December 11th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

Douglas Fairbanks Presents

Anthology series made in Britain for commercial television but with the US market in mind.

Also released in 1955

Highway Patrol

1950s TV police series made on a shoestring budget

Also released in 1955

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Richard Greene starred as the legendary 12th century outlaw who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. ITV's first adventure series managed to maintain a high standard of writing, employing blacklisted Hollywood writers who wrote under various aliases.

Also released in 1955

Fury

US & British co-production about a black stallion that no-one has yet been able to tame.

Also released in 1955

Dixon of Dock Green

George Dixon was a policeman of the old school. A dependable officer who would help old ladies cross the street and whose idea of treating juvenile delinquents was with a 'clip' round the ear. George Dixon was a 'Community Copper' before the term had even been invented.

Also released in 1955

Cookery Lesson TV programme

Cookery Lesson was a series of twelve programmes that introduced viewers to the basic principles of cooking, working from the assumption that the TV audience didn't even know how to boil an egg.

Also tagged Cookery

TV Chefs - Mary Berry

A wry look at TV chefs, cookery shows and soggy omelettes.

Also tagged Cookery