The New York comedian Josh Gondelman has had an idea of unsurpassed brilliance. He suggests: “On the Great Jewish Bake Off, the judges look off into the distance after tasting each pastry and tell a story about a long-dead relative who used to make a better version.”
I cannot tell you how taken I was with this. I have been just bursting to discuss the superior offerings of Prue Leith’s Tante Sylvia or Paul Hollywood’s Bobbe Sarah. (And no, she is NOT Bubbe, Paul comes from the north, have some pride, here). Bread Week, obviously, would be Challah Week, Biscuit Week would be Kichel Week (with extra points for use of sultanas), and nobody would be allowed to go home without producing the ultimate hummus for Sandi and Noel to dip into while monitoring the bakers.
And then I got to thinking about other shows with which we are familiar and wondering about Jewish versions.
I mean, food programmes are all very well but I feel that we have something to offer on every front, drama, reality shows, documentaries – you name it, we have something to add.
So I’m planning on a new series of Vanity Fair, in which the heroine is just called Becky. It’s set in Edgware, obviously, with some scenes in south Manchester, for variety, and social climbing is absolutely the order of the day.
We’re also going to have a Jewish version of Love Island, which will be called Fabulous Island, and all the contestants will be introduced thus: “This is Ben. His brother is a doctor”; or “this is Araminta, everyone calls her Minty, and no, of course she’s not appearing in that skimpy bikini, what, you want her to catch pneumonia?
Strictly Come Dancing, everyone’s favourite Saturday night guilty pleasure in the winter months, will be given a Jewish twist. It will be called Strictly Come Shuffling and feature old films of Lionel Blair doing his thing together with as many barmitzvah home movies as we can come up with. Tess and Claudia will be dressed head to foot in rhinestones, and the panel’s desk will be covered in vol-au-vents to munch in between dances. Re-creations of the Bottle Dance from Fiddler on the Roof will be mandatory and to bring the whole thing right up to date and be politically correct — well, of course, there will be NO MIXED DANCING.
Moving on, I’m casting for a Jewish version of Coronation Street. There is already a taxi firm and a sweatshop (aka Underworld) so it’s quite well prepared, but it needs to raise its game with a few more accountants and some more coffee mornings.
We know, of course, that the one and only Maureen Lipman has just arrived in the Street but her role is not that of a Jewish grandmother, which is regrettable.
I propose to change the name to Coronation Cul-De-Sac, improve the hairdresser’s (so old-fashioned) and set several scenes in a new nail bar. Diet Coke will be served everywhere and I’m afraid we won’t be having any transmissions on Friday nights any more, sorry. On the other hand there will be at least one sushi outlet, perhaps in Dev’s Corner Deli, and every problem will be solved with a decent double decaff skinny latte. Tea? Only Earl Grey, darling.
You’ll excuse me now while I dream up new Jewish versions of Poldark and Bodyguard. Somehow, they may be one elevator pitch too far…