Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Celebrities In Ads - Part 2: Fanny and Johnnie Cradock

Ah, the Cradocks! Forthright Fanny and jolly Johnnie! He all bumble and monocle, she all fire and fervour. A great pairing, who rose to fame through their exploits as Bon Viveur, reviewing various hotels and eateries for a national newspaper many moons ago. Fanny and Johnnie soon rose high into the culinary stratosphere and transformed English cookery (Fanny, like many food people of the day, worshipped French cuisine) with blue eggs and runny mincemeat pancakes and a host of other delights on the goggle box.

Although we mock slightly, we loved Fanny and Johnnie dearly, and there's no doubt the pair did an enormous amount for English/British cookery in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. And some of Fanny's tips are wonderful. If you've never tried stabbing a goose all over before cooking it, we recommend it. Not only is it a highly satisfying act in itself after a stressful day, but it really does make a fatty meat very delicious and digestable when cooked.

Although Fanny always maintained that the way she dominated Johnnie on-screen was all part of an act for the cameras, some on-lookers have since disagreed. But there is no doubt that, although not the first celebrity cooks, they brought a huge amount of character to the role, and have been very influential indeed.

Fanny and Johnnie were not blind to the power of advertising, and were involved in many advertising campaigns. Here they are in 1967, extolling the virtues of the Philips Electric Knife Sharpener and the Philips 3-Speed Electric Food Mixer. At 79/11 and £5:17:4 (this is old money) they weren't exactly a snip, but with Fanny and Johnnie endorsing them, I'm sure they were quality!

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