So, from Chalk to Chef! (do you see?), starring Lenny Henry as Gareth Blackstock, a long time before Alan Davies ever put on his Whites. For twenty episodes over three series, between 1993 and 1996, creator Peter Tilbury shared writing duties with Geoffrey Deane and Paul Makin.
The show was conceived specifically for Lenny Henry, and produced by his company Crucial Films. The star said:
The first episode of Chef! was developed over two years, and so Peter Tilbury and I were really put through loads of hoops about character motivation. Why is this character such an arsehole? Is this the right kind of character for me to be playing? All that kind of stuff. Once we got through that and they greenlit the series, Peter then had something like eight or nine weeks to write the rest of it. The remaining five episodes were much easier to write because we’d had every argument about who, what, where, and how. The world had been mapped out. Actually, the very first episode of Chef! was the hardest one to watch for me because we’d worked so hard on it and you could see all the things that had been rewritten in the first episode.
The first two series were shot on film, but due to budget cuts, the third was produced on videotape. All three series are available on [amazon asin=B000HEZ7N4&text=DVD].
Be prepared for another theme tune that will burrow into your brain and refuse to let go.