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Guest Blog: Stage Management – that’s the real 21st Century Space Odyssey

Stage Management – that’s the real 21st Century Space Odyssey

Guest blog by Christopher Moseley

A recently aired Jamie Oilver Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast (#FridayNightFeast @jamieoliver) saw Jamie ‘n’ Jimmy welcoming Goldie Hawn – yes, the star of There’s a Girl in My Soup, Butterflies Are Free, The Sugarland Express, Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club, to name but two of Goldie’s two dozen or so Hollywood films – walk (glide) into an impromptu cook-off with Jamie and buddy Jimmy Doherty in Jamie’s new restaurant in Southend-on-Sea.


It was all very charming, although more than a little surreal, and I didn’t quite buy the plethora of expensively coiffed and dentally perfect so-called diners gobbling Jamie’s langoustine and truffle pasta dish. In fact the diners looked entirely out of place and I suspect that none of them ordinarily would take more than a few steps outside of their Islington homes for a feed were it not for the opportunity of appearing on one of Jamie’s TV programmes.

The action then shifted to an achingly cool restaurant (another Jamie gaff I guess) where two rather bemused and suspiciously well-scrubbed and exfoiliated Scottish fisherman were jumped by dozens of twenty-something lady restaurant and foodie bloggers. “We must get Britain eating langoustines; it’s a national tragedy that all these Scottish langoustines are being exported abroad,” the lady bloggers chorused.


At the end of the programme our burnished, gleaming and Titin-coiffed heroes, Jamie and Jimmy declared that their mission had been accomplished: langoustines have been preserved for British bellies, while Southend had officially fallen in love with Goldie Hawn – en masse.


Ahhh! Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast isn’t really might kind of TV programme. There’s an excellent documentary on the Wars of the Roses on the Beeb just now, which is just my kind of thing. That said I do appreciate programmes of any stripe which give you an epiphany, or glimpse of something new, a vision of the future if you will. Which is exactly what I got out of the most recent outing from Jamie and Jimmy. I got a rather trippy vision of the future; a vision of the future from a societal perspective.


This past week has seen the launch of ‘taxibots’ and Cortana Microsoft’s personal, voice-activated robot assistant at CES 2016 – much more my kind of thing, a much much more tangible and techie vision of the future. And yet, and yet … I really did get something out of Jamie and Jimmy’s foodie programme from an amateur futurist perspective. It was the stage management of the whole thing: from the whole odour-free, scrubbed and trimmed presenters, chefs and actors ‘thing’ going on, to the way in which everything had been tightly scripted and managed. Jamie and Jimmy’s programme is a remorselessly good news, good-hearted type of programme where narry a dark cloud, nor drop of rain can ever appear – it just isn’t allowed.


Which got me thinking of all those science fiction films and literature, which are neither utopian, nor dystopian in nature – The Truman Show to name but one – which depicted the future as a kind of endlessly upbeat TV show of the gleaming American variety, where everyone is happy, clean and neurosis free.

Yes, forget North Korean hydrogen bombs, UAV taxis and talking intelligent fridges – they’re just wallpaper. The real vision of the future is Messrs Oliver and Docherty, smiling, spot-free and shiny.


The future is going to be sunny, with only a light, refreshing breeze. Enjoy your langoustine truffle-encrusted pasta folks!

Christopher Moseley

Head of Public Relations

Merchant Marketing Group