1 9 5 6 (UK)
Introduced by the bearded, round-faced and exuberant Philip Harben, Cookery Lesson introduced viewers to the basic principles of cooking.
Considering the UK was still under ration-book rule at the time, it is surprising that Harben’s lessons were so successful. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that he was such a hit at a time when the kitchen was still seen as very much the domain of women.
As a child, Philip Harben spent much time in the kitchen with his parents’ cook, while they were away. After leaving school, he worked as a photographer until, at the age of 31, he changed career and became a cook at the Isobar restaurant in Belsize Park, London.
After a spell in the RAF catering division, he approached the BBC and became a TV cook on the programmes Cookery (1946 – 1951) and What’s Cooking?.
Harben moved to ITV in 1964 with Headway (subtitled The Grammar of Cookery). His last programme was Thames Television’s The Tools of Cookery (1968 – 1969).
Philip Harben passed away on 27 April 1970.