Saturday 8 September 2012

Take you to liver school

Last year I first watched Man v. Food and frankly it changed the way that I thought about eating everything in the entire world. Back then it was still something of an underground hit. Now, everyone in Britain has seen MvF and it is changing the entire country's cholesterol level.

Not least because, off the back of it, I am starting to see pubs and restaurants instituting EATING CHALLENGES of their own. This is terribly exciting stuff. It's taken longer than most American cultural staples to make its journey across the Atlantic, possibly because we still had food rationing from the end of the second world war up until 1998. But now it is here, what will become of us? Best case scenario: we all get hugely fat and happy. Worst case scenario: we become laughing stocks.

Because, frankly, we're very much beginners at this sort of thing and I worry that our efforts will be quaint at best. American tourists will have to start ordering the eating challenges just to get a portion size akin to that of their ordinary breakfast. We'd be literally a side of coleslaw away from a pat on the head and a friendly-if-patronising chuck under the chin.

I find this prospect quite unappealing. After all, the British Empire is the Empire that taught the world all about excess and self-loathing, so our failing to out-eat the colonies would be a humiliating backslide. However, there is still one area in which us plucky Brits can still compete with the best in the world.

Step forward my new television programme idea: Man v. Booze.

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