Anthea's pose with strawberries fails to tempt a single viewer

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The Independent Online

Anthea Turner should have asked herself whether anyone was remotely interested in what was underneath those strawberries strategically placed on her naked body for a women's magazine cover, published this week.

The answer – a crushing "no" – came yesterday when it emerged that not a single viewer tuned into her new food programme Taste Today, on Wednesday.

In fact, the Taste channel was so unpopular with viewers that it scored a zero rating for each of the 10 hours it was on air that day, according to unofficial figures. Its unprecedented unpopularity yesterday prompted Carlton and Sainsbury's to pull the plug on their 11-month-old Taste TV and website joint venture.

Turner's career appears to have started to go into near-catastrophic nosedive when her very public affair with Grant Bovey – then married with three children – tarnished her wholesome, golden girl image. Three years ago, when Bovey went back to his first wife, Turner, a former Blue Peter and GMTV presenter, got her kit off and posed for Tatler, entwined with a 7ft python.

On that occasion, taking her clothes off had the desired effect. Bovey decamped from the family home, and sped back into her arms.

When the pair got married in August last year, they sold their wedding photos to OK! magazine for £250,000. If that wasn't bad taste enough, tacky pictures appeared in the press of the happy couple tucking into a new chocolate bar in a seeming endorsement of the product. The nation's toes were sent curling even tighter.

After Flakegate came Turner's cringe-inducing autobiography, which told in graphic detail of her affair with Bovey. Turner clearly failed to realise that detail of Bovey "gently" undressing her, was frankly too much information.

Next up was last year's Celebrity Big Brother, on which Turner, 41, assumed the role of mother. She chatted about how she had had her hostess trolley cunningly disguised as a piece of furniture, and spent her time maniacally cooking scones for her fellow residents. Her controlled demeanour broke only once when she shot a viperous look towards Vanessa Feltz.

Turner's performance was enough, however, to land her a new role on digital television. It was always doubtful that her devalued currency would go far in the lonely world of non-terrestrial broadcasting. But those already perking up at the thought of no more Anthea Turner on our screens, should, however, be made aware that Taste Today will continue on Carlton's sister station, the Food Network.

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