the original TV chef: a keith floyd biography
Keith Floyd played a significant role in shaping the modern TV cookery show. His unplanned approach brought about a sea change in television cooking programs. He’s one of the greatest TV cooks ever, so I decided to make a video biography about him:
Prior to Floyd, cooking shows were often formal and instructional, focusing solely on the process of preparing a dish. Fanny Cradock and Delia Smith were – quite appropriately – focused on the food. In his words “dull and worthy and akin to a secondary school lesson in modern home economics.” Keith Floyd’s unscripted style and relaxed approach to filming brought a sense of chaos to the world of TV cooking shows. Unlike the meticulously planned and rehearsed programs that came before him, Floyd embraced spontaneity and welcomed the unpredictable moments that unfolded during filming. His shows were known for their sense of adventure and the feeling that anything could happen at any moment.
It is the story of a partying nomad, trying his hand at something for five minutes before moving on to the next thing that had caught his attention. And while a life well lived, it also feels like a life stopping short of true happiness. He died at age 65, having been married 5 times, survived by his son and daughter.
I’ve written about Keith before, but please check out my video. As the cool kids say, please like and subscribe!
Here’s The Guardian’s contemporaneous obituary.