This year’s TV Baftas were a po-faced affair. There were speeches about the Government being awful. Almost everyone you thought would win ended up winning, and some of them didn’t turn up. Host Richard Ayoade told the audience: “I’m here to reassure you that this will eventually end,” although at times it felt as if it wouldn’t.
But there was one person who managed to lift the atmosphere, and that was Big Zuu, a rapper and grime MC who hosts Big Zuu’s Big Eats on Dave. Not only did his show win Best Feature (which I think is another way of saying best series) but he won Best Entertainment Performance, beating Graham Norton and Michael McIntyre. And Big Zuu’s sheer delight at being a double Bafta winner was the evening’s bright spot.
So it’s time to check out Big Zuu’s Big Eats. It turns out to be an unpretentious show as uplifting as Big Zuu’s Bafta appearance. With his straight-faced sidekicks, Hyder and Tubsey, he travels the country in a food truck and cooks for a celebrity. He larks about making cheeky, good-natured jokes about smoking weed and being Muslim, and talks in that London dialect which will be familiar if you live in the capital or have a teenager who pretends they do. He’s a breath of fresh air. It’s all done with humour and loud enthusiasm and, frankly, people at home are more likely to attempt Big Zuu’s uncomplicated recipes than something demonstrated by Marcus Wareing.
As for the food? Well, Big Zuu isn’t a MasterChef-level chef. He’s a Nando’s-level chef. And in this episode he was out of his natural habitat: up North, in Stockport, catering for the tastes of Johnny Vegas. He made something called “chippy tea tots and mushy peas”, which was deep-fried potato balls and a tin of marrowfat peas served in an ice cream waffle cone – yes, you read that right – followed by savoury cheesecake in Guinness gravy. In return, Vegas made a “halal Spam burger” (chicken luncheon meat, if you’re wondering). I wouldn’t eat any of it. But I’d definitely watch more of this show.