If anyone would like to try some delightful English whimsy, may I recommend In Out Of The Kitchen? It was first broadcast nine years ago, on BBC Radio 4, and all four series/seasons are available free, streaming, globally right now. And in this time of trial, eleven hours of an over-prissy food writer Damian Trench, his less-stressed boyfriend, their builder, Damian's agents and a stream of recipes told with a beautiful radio flair, may just be what we all need right now.
Written and starring Miles Jupp, also known for Ballamory, Rev and the News Quiz, it features a mixture of dialogue, Damien's diary entries and recipes. It goes against the grain of most British sitcoms, which usually see people who would not normally choose each other's company, forced together – whether by family, work, or proximity and gain comes from having such different types of people pushed together. In And Out of The Kitchen has people who are happy to choose each other's company and maybe for Damien Trench that makes any unfortunate outcome even more damning, as every step is one that he has chosen.
It is also a sitcom full of first world problems, and in that respect may be the closest that British sitcoms have ever got to the like of Seinfeld. However, despite the signature tetchiness of the series, ever character means well and has compassion for the other. That it is gentle, self-deprecating in it comedy and is relatively light in topic doesn't stop it from being so very fun at exposing humanity's flaws, especially when we think we are doing the right thing.
I've just relistened to the episode where, at a literary festival, Trench has been all-but-forced to fill-in for an And McNabb-type former SAS officer-turned-author, with an audience who don't know Trench isn't him, and having to read the first chapter of his so-called book. While cheek by with a recipe that implores the listener to never buy supermarket stock cubes along the lines of it being tantamount to war crime. Cozy without being lazy, with a structure that breaks up the story into delicious morsels, this is comfort food with a surprisingly tang aftertaste and oh no I've turned into Damien Trench halfway through this sentence. After listening to In And Out Of The Kitchen it is surprisingly easy to do.
All four series of In And Out Of The Kitchen are available free, here and you will want to quote it forever.