Thursday, July 30, 2009

Very Sad News About Keith Floyd

I heard some very sad news this morning. My cooking hero Keith Floyd - the man who inspired me to try to make it as a chef - has cancer.

The 65-year-old TV cook was diagnosed six weeks ago, and has since had five serious operations and is about to undergo a gruelling period of chemotherapy.

But he is staying positive, and has vowed to fight the disease. In true Floyd spirit, he even said he was going to cut down on the fags.

"I went to Spain six weeks ago to see my old doctor about a little growth; he said: 'Not very good news I'm afraid, you've got bowel cancer' - it's not what you want to hear," he said.

"Since then I've had endless operations. Five knife ops in total and they were 90% successful at cutting it out.

“Now I have five weeks of chemotherapy coming up. I'll have to make daily visits to Nimes Hospital. I'm not thrilled about it, no, but what can I do? I'll get through it."

The poor bugger.

He is being looked after at his home in the south of France by close friend Celia Martin, widow of Doctor Who screenwriter David Martin.

Floyd added: "My housemate Celia Martin has been wonderful. She and I go a long way back.

“Her husband was my best friend and he died two years ago. It is a purely platonic friendship; we are good company for each other."

Floyd - famous for glugging red wine on his shows, and a flamboyant way of throwing things together that made it okay for men to like cooking – spent time in hospital last year after he collapsed at a friend's pub in Stoke.

The papers said he’d embarked on a week-long binge to get over the split from his fourth wife Tess.

But his spokesman Stan Green denied it. “He’s far stronger than that,” he told me, “Keith’s not the sort that would mope over a woman.”

It was the stress and long hours of setting up a restaurant inside a swanky hotel on Patong Beach in Thailand – something he had promised himself he would never do again.

The last I heard was that the venture had crashed, and he was back in France, impoverished and worrying about whether he would even keep his beloved fishing rods.

His old producer David Pritchard – the man who turned him into the nation’s first proper celebrity chef – had flown out to Phuket a week before to meet his old drinking partner.

Floyd was drinking large vodkas and much of the bitterness between the two men was still there. “I don’t know whether to hug you or punch you,” said the cook.

Asked about the celebrity chef phenomena that Floyd’s stardom had spawned, he told Pritchard: “I’d like to napalm the lot of them!”

The two men talked about doing a final series together. I do hope he gets better soon.


La BĂȘte said...

Oh, that is sad.

Nothing wrong with moping over a woman though.

Anthony Silverbrow said...

That really is a shame. His programmes are some of the best still.

Nicky said...

His was one of the first cookbooks I bought, inspired by his carefree approach to enjoying cooking as much as enjoying the food (and drink). It's probably in bad taste to say it's a shitty thing to happen to a decent guy, but I'm sure he'd appreciate the joke.

Beverley said...

I saw him on a re run the other day, as fresh as ever and a lt more entertaining than some TV chefs who wear too much make-up!

Douglas Blyde said...

Beautifully put.

The Ample Cook said...

That is just so sad. I think I know every episode of Floyd on France by heart.

theundergroundrestaurant said...

Noooo. I love Keith Floyd! He was a TV natural...

Jane Wightman said...

One of the first (if not the first) sleb chefs.
A true gastronome & wine buff, think he probably inspired that fridge magnet/sticker "I always use wine when cooking, sometimes I even put it in the food I am cooking!"
My Mum was diagnosed with BC in 2005 and after 2 ops she's fighting fit. Hope the same holds true for Keith.
Warm wishes and a long, cancer free life ahead of him I hope.

Margaret said...

Didn't know anything about this, and it is really sad. I always loved his passion and his TV spats with David Pritchard!

maxredaktor said...

That is a very sad news. I strongly hope he'll mange to fight off the cancer and be back with more excellent shows.