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‘Common Sense Slimming’ - How the contribution of Joan Robins, television’s ‘afternoon cook’, was not the perfect-fit for the culture of the BBC in the 1950s

Geddes, Kevin



Cooking on television after WWII mainly addressed ‘the housewife’ audience, while women themselves were presenting television cooking programmes. History has largely forgotten the presenter Joan Robins, who appeared alongside Philip Harben and Marguerite Patten on BBC broadcasts of the late 1940s and 1950s. Robins specialised in ‘common-sense’ cookery, nutrition, and health, including a controversial slimming programme that featured advice that was later disputed by the British Medical Association. Robins’ ideas and innovations were not always welcomed by the BBC, who preferred more straightforward cookery demonstrations, resulting in her turning her back on broadcasting to concentrate on her other careers.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 16, 2022
Online Publication Date May 18, 2022
Publication Date 2022-09
Deposit Date May 25, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 25, 2022
Journal Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies
Print ISSN 1749-6020
Electronic ISSN 1749-6039
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 254-268
Keywords BBC, television cookery, women on television, Joan Robins, food media
Public URL


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