Meet Fanny Cradock – the original celebrity chef

SCREEN Bites Food Film Festival gets together with Bristol’s Show of Strength Theatre Company and Orchard Park Garden Centre at Gillingham to stage Fanny and Johnnie Cradock Cook The Great American Songbook on Friday 13th October.

It’s a typically quirky and flamboyant event to launch Screen Bites’ Bakers Dozen Festival, running from 13th to 28th October, and marking the final year for the team who have been running the country’s only food and film festival for 13 years (hence “bakers dozen”).

Fanny Cradock, who lived in Swanage and Bournemouth as a child – she went to Talbot Heath School for some years – was the first television cook, as famous for her alcohol consumption and her double entendres as she was for her colourful food.

Bristol actress Kate McNab recreates this larger-than-life character and John Telfer (who plays the vicar in The Archers) is her “husband” and partner on stage, Johnnie.

The show features a three-course retro meal, music, anecdotes, some cooking a-la-Fanny and a lot of laughs.

Booking is essential on 01963 32525 or visit

• For more on this year’s Screen Bites programme see separate item on the FTR film pages.