John Gibson: Let’s just have another quick slurp

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Blast ’em’ all, blast ’em all, the short and the fat and the tall. You can have your Blumenthals, your Steins, your Ramsays and, by God, even your Jamies. There has only been – and he is still with us in spirit – one TV chef for me. Above them all. Keith Floyd.

And you may well say that’s just because he and one of his wives sent a bouquet of flowers to my Western General bedside, advising – threatening – that I should be up and about two days later at the Caledonian Hotel to fulfil a pre-arranged interview and to be introduced to the latest Mrs Floyd.

Keith has been brought back from the dead (deceased after his heart attack at 65 in September 2009) for the repeat of a series that saw him slave and slurp over a range of stoves in California . . . in Santa Fe where he sampled in quick succession seven margeritas, the 20th Century Fox studios, marketing his own version of a tequila sunrise.

Captivating viewing. Just like old times, which is why it grieves me to discover Keith left only £7000 in his will. Knowing the man as I do from our cheery, chatty encounters, I’ve no doubt he had a ball spending it. And surely it should be said, what a way to go!

There were three divorces. He made millions but the wives apparently don’t want to see him rest in peace. They’ve been squabbling over the will.

Afterwords . .

A reflective moment from Barbara Taylor Bradford: “I’ve always loved writing stories. Some of my earlies memories are of my mother reading them to me and by the age of seven I was writing my own. When I was ten she sent one to a children’s magazine in London and I couldn’t believe it when they said they wanted to publish it. You could say my destiny was sealed.’’