Questions of Taste



Russell Davies (1986)

Chris Kelly (1992-96)


BBC Radio 4, 12 April to 17 May 1986 (6 episodes in 1 series)

BBC Radio 4, 27 April 1992 to 31 October 1996 (42 episodes in 7 series)


Food-based panel game.

Craig Brown, writing in The Times, skewered the 1986 series:

"The panel of four foodies, coyly jogged along by 'your convivial host' Russell Davies, are given aggressively light-heartes tasks like tasting apples ('crunch, slurp, mmm, I think I recognise this one, mmm - Russet?') or, in the Pythonesque 'Favourite Utensil Spot' name their favourite utensil plus light-hearted anecdote"

Brown continued,

"I have never heard a studio audience so unamused. No matter how many exclamation marks the panel added to its inflection, only anxious titters resulted. One spple was revealed as Spartan. And where go you think they come from? 'Greece!' The end came as a blessed relief, even if our convivial host did sent us off not with goodbye but - yes - 'Bon appetit!'"

Most of the panel remained the same through the series: Paul Levy and Oz Clarke were described as "maƮtres de team", Denise Coffey as "resident vegetarian". The fourth person wasn't a guest panellist, but a "guest gourmet". The show also featured Robert Booth as "toastmaster" (announcer, not person in charge of lightly-singed bread). Questions were set by Christopher Driver and the producer Jonathan James-Moore.

The studio panel game Questions of Taste wasn't recommissioned after this solitary series. The show did re-emerge in 1992, with Richard Wilson as the producer. Chris Kelly hosted, with a variety of cooks and gastronomes facing questions on cookery, ingredients, food and drink, table service, and other associated topics. The show was recorded at various hotels up and down the country. Contributors included Nigella Lawson, Antony Worrall-Thompson, Malcolm Gluck, Jennifer Paterson, Prue Leith, and Oz Clarke from the earlier incarnation.

See also

A Question of Taste, a 2012 quiz on BBC Two.


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