Can't Cook, Won't Cook

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Can't Cook, Won't Cook
Ainsley ccwc.jpg
GenreCooking show
Presented byAinsley Harriott
Kevin Woodford
Lesley Waters
Richard Cawley
Tony Tobin
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series5
No. of episodes685
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)Bazal Midlands
DistributorEndemol UK
Original networkBBC1
Picture format4:3
Original release20 November 1995 (1995-11-20) – 7 July 2000 (2000-07-07)

Can't Cook, Won't Cook is a British cooking show that was broadcast on BBC1 on weekday mornings usually after the Breakfast News from 20 November 1995 to 7 July 2000.


Two chefs (one of whom could not cook and one of whom would not cook) were nominated by a friend or relative to cook a meal under the instruction of a world class chef. When the dish was cooked, the nominator would be blindfolded and asked to taste the food. Following this, they would decide whose dish was best. In the event of a tie, the aforementioned chef would decide.

Then once the winner has been decided the walls of the studio open up to reveal a prize (usually a food blender or set of saucepans).


Over the years the programme featured several different host chefs, most predominantly Ainsley Harriott on a Monday and Friday and Kevin Woodford on a Tuesday and Thursday. Other chefs such as Lesley Waters, Richard Cawley and Tony Tobin would present on the Wednesday.

Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg[edit]


One special episode aired under the name "Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg" as part of the 10th anniversary of the Red Dwarf series; this can be seen on the Series IV DVD. The Red Dwarf cast participated in the show entirely in character. Ainsley Harriott, the host chef for the episode, had previously performed a small role in the Red Dwarf episode Emohawk: Polymorph II. Lister and Kryten face off against Rimmer and Duane Dibbley as the host of Can't Cook, Won't Cook teaches the teams how to cook a curry with Kristine Kochanski as taste test judge. The show was won by Rimmer and Duane.


There have been several cookbooks based on the series written and a board game based on the series made.

External links[edit]