TELEVISION / Reviews of the week

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The Independent Culture
What the critics thought of Lenny Henry in the new sitcom Chef] (Thursdays, BBC1):

'Peter Tilbury's script was flavoursome but overcooked. It's nice to see writers setting their sights higher than easy puns; but purple passages can ring terribly hollow on television . . .' Max Davidson, Daily Telegraph.

'Tilbury's well-researched script is thick with backchat and putdowns . . . zippy editing and on-the-edge playing from Henry and a refreshingly unfamiliar cast.' Tony Patrick, Times.

'Last night's opener was oddly uncertain . . . Lenny Henry seems altogether too cuddly for the role.' Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail.

'Lenny Henry has found himself a dream role as the super- gastronome Gareth Blackstock . . . This character should give Lenworth George Henry a permanent new meal-ticket.' Compton Miller, Daily Express.

'Lenny Henry doesn't normally 'do' hot-tempered, highly strung, seriously unpleasant chefs. And accepting him as such in this new sitcom is going to take time . . . 30 minutes of him bitching about the quality of the Hollandaise sauce is not my idea of a good time.' Pam Francis, Today.

(Photograph omitted)

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