Big Cook Little Cook
Big Cook, Little Cook is a television series for nursery school aged children, broadcast on BBC television channels (particularly the CBeebies digital television channel). The programme is set in the kitchen of a café, with two principal characters, Big Cook Ben and Little Cook Small.
Ben is a full sized adult, but Small is only a few inches tall (somewhat ironic, as his actor is the taller of the two) and flies around on a wooden spoon. Ben and Small are played by Steve Marsh and Dan Wright respectively.
In 2005, the duo featured in commercials for Betfair, the broadcaster Channel 4's official sponsor, during The Ashes cricket series, being shown as two part advertisements at the beginning and end of each break. Trailers for the programme on the BBC spoofed the food adverts of Marks & Spencer, which featured the voice of Dervla Kirwan. Until February 2012, CBeebies aired repeats on the channel.
An official magazine was launched in August 2005.
The format of the programme generally includes a visit to the café by a nursery rhyme, fairy tale, or fictional character (such as Little Miss Muffet or Humpty Dumpty). Each episode would begin with Big Cook Ben and Little Cook Small either doing an activity or encountering a problem, and then a visitor would arrive by the door of their cafe with Small giving the viewer and Ben hints about who the visitor is.
After revealing that visitor, Small then tells a short story about his experience with the visitor and ends of his stories proclaiming to be the real hero. Next, they decide to cook the visitor an appropriate meal from Ben's recipe book, and the collect the ingredients from either; the fridge, freezer, cupboard, fruitbowl & vegetable basket (added in series 3). If an ingredient is missing or if one of the two want to know how a certain ingredient is made, Small will then fly away on his magic spoon to see where one of the ingredients is made, such as a chutney factory or a rice field.
Once Small gets the ingredient or tells Ben how an ingredient is made, the two proceed to sing a song, remind the viewers of what is required for the recipe, and begin to cook. After finishing the meal and serving it to the customer, they then sing a song involving cleaning up the kitchen. In return of cooking a meal for the visitor, they receive a gift that would solve their problem.
Activities within the kitchen, such as washing/tidying up, are accompanied by catchy song and dance routines.
Both cooks act in an expansive and overblown style, but the show seems intended to encourage children to take an interest in cooking. The cooks rhyme a lot, like "We need a story to help us cook. Let's take a look in Little Cook's Book." Big Cook does most of the actual cooking and telling the viewers how to make the recipes; Little Cook does some preparation or sets the timer. Some of the aerial shots of Little Cook flying were filmed over the town of Skipton, North Yorkshire.
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