1 9 9 4 – 2 0 1 0 (UK)
124 x 30/45 minute episodes
Fern Britton hosted this long-running BBC cookery game show in which two top chefs – represented by a Red Tomato and a Green Pepper – had to create exciting new dishes against the clock from a handful of ingredients they had never seen before which were brought in by members of the studio audience.
Of course, the chefs also had access to stocked larders in the studio, so cream, olive oil, fresh basil, wine vinegar and a dozen other expensive ingredients magically appeared during the preparation and cooking process.
The series made household names of chefs such as Brian Turner, Nick Nairn, Phil Vickery (who married host Fern Britton in spring 2000) and Antony Worrall Thompson.
TV and sports personalities also took part in occasional versions of the show aired as Celebrity Ready, Steady, Cook.
Ainsley Harriott – who had a long association with the show as a competing chef – took over the hosting duties from Fern in 2000 and the duration of the programme was extended from 30 to 45 minutes.