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Fanny Cradock

Fanny and Johnny Cradock presented a popular cookery programme on British television from the 1950s until the 1970s, as well as writing several successful cookery books.

fannycradock_2Fanny’s real name was Phyllis Nan Sortain Pechey, but she adopted Johnny’s surname throughout her career although they were not actually married until 1977.

Major John Cradock, an alumnus of Harrow, always sported a monocle and tuxedo.

From the start there was a great deal of sadomasochism in Fanny’s cookery. For instance in 1956, she and Johnny were filmed on stage at the Albert Hall where she demonstrated how to make a souffle.

As she beat the ingredients into shape in a little bowl, Fanny said in a French accent; “And then you think about the woman next door that you have never really liked but you have never really told her and so you take it out on the sauce. And that is the perfect way to make a souffle” . . .

The beginning of the end came in 1976 when Fanny poured scorn on a menu presented by an amateur cook called Gwen on the BBC show The Big Time, hosted by Esther Rantzen.

Fanny was so scathing and condescending – and the public backlash so strong – that her career was permanently damaged and she rarely appeared on television again.

Fanny Cradock died on 27 December 1994 in East Sussex. She was 85.

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