*Spoiler alert: winner’s identity revealed in final Paragraph*
As another year of MasterChef comes to a close, I’d like to offer a couple of observations.
1. The title.
Has anyone at the BBC has ever been to school? MasterChef? If I called any of my former colleagues Headmaster or referred to myself as a schoolmaster, I would be regarded as a villainous misogynist who didn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘connotation’. ‘You’re not an EL James fantasy, you know!’ they would shriek. This is how it works on the right-on world of education.
I don’t mind this a bit. It’s very easy to avoid words with loaded connotations, like master and mistress, and I’ve been doing it all my life. Sort of a habit. Like wearing socks. However, I do think that the stupidest people on planet earth – teacher trainers – ought to try harder to understand that words sometimes have more than one meaning, and that if someone says ‘Headmistress’ it doesn’t mean they think that the person running the school is an uber-dominatrix. Mind you, the threat of being sent to the Uber-dominatrix would be a far more effective deterrent in our schools than the threat of being sent to the Headteacher, don’t you think? Perhaps it’s time to consider a change.
A more accurate title for MasterChef might be ‘Dismembered Animals on a Plate’. In the utopian future which I envisioned as an earnest/pissed/stoned teenager, eating meat was a thing of the past and men and women were on an equal footing. Like everything else in my utopian vision, it didn’t come to pass, and the official title of Dismembered Animals on a Plate would suggest that Nothing Has Changed. I’d just like to point out, though: you’re the one calling it MasterChef, and I’m the one who’s being an agent of change for a less patriarchal society. Put that in your Guardian and misspell it.
2. The finalists.
Chap Who Probably Should Have Won but Fell at the Final Hurdle, Chap Who Was in the Final by Mistake, and I Don’t Want to Be Seen as Just a Mum So I’ll Mention It Every Time They Give Me a Speaking Head Shot.
Chap Who Probably Should Have Won but Fell at the Final Hurdle is only twenty-seven and still has his whole life ahead of him, so he can dry his own tears. Furthermore, he plays the folk violin. Chap Who Was in the Final by Mistake was in the final by mistake and should therefore be counting his lucky stars. He presented the witless buffoons (who judge this farce) a pile of mashed potato for his final main course. Well, they chose him over Smiley Woman with Unidentifiable Possibly West Country Accent but At Least She Can Cook (which is evidence enough of their witless buffoonery). Which, by deduction, etc. means that I Don’t Want to Be Seen as Just a Mum So I’ll Mention It Every Time They Give Me a Speaking Head Shot won this year’s ‘Dismembered Animals on a Plate’. Over the weeks, she uttered the phrase ‘just a mum’ repeatedly, so, whatever else she’s achieved in life, rather sadly, one can assume that she hasn’t yet fully appreciated the unique importance of motherhood (and by extension, the unique importance of herself as a mother). I hope she realises this before it’s too late. In the meantime, I hope she enjoys being just a chef.
(Dozens of animals were killed in the process of filming this programme.)