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Curry crisis and unsung sporting heroes on Inside Out

Category: West Midlands TV

Date: 17.02.2005
Printable version

Inside Out, BBC ONE West Midlands, 7.30pm, Monday 21 February

Going for a curry is something of a British tradition.


The amount of Indian food eaten in the UK today is phenomenal - there are around 10,000 restaurants serving more than two million meals a week.

Being a curry chef is a skilled profession. They are the most important part of an industry worth more than £2.5bn a year.

But, after many years of growth, Britain's Indian restaurants are in crisis.

In common with curry houses elsewhere, the Indian restaurants on Leicester's Belgrave Road are struggling to recruit new chefs.

The problem is a generational one. Many second-generation Asians do not want to follow their parents into the industry.

Immigration controls combined with the fact that most foreign workers need additional training when they get here does not help recruitment from abroad.


There is real concern that unless restaurants get the staff they need, the authentic quality of the food will suffer.

Inside Out found few colleges in the country with a course that trains curry chefs.

The programme found one in London which is creating a diverse generation of cooks skilled at preparing masterful masalas and perfect popadums.

But there are 20,000 vacancies to fill and not enough new chefs.

The future of the country's favourite food depends on finding and training sufficient curry chefs who have all the right ingredients to retain the quality of an important part of British culture.

If new chefs are not discovered soon, future generations could miss out on authentic curry dishes. This is a good time to be a skilled curry chef.

Also on Inside Out, unsung sporting heroes - everyone can name East Midland sporting heroes like Ellen MacArthur, Brian Clough and Gary Lineker. But will they be names that pass the test of time?

Inside Out rediscovers three largely forgotten heroes who, many feel, have not had the recognition they deserve.

William Abendigo Thompson, aka Bendigo, the 19th century bare-knuckled boxing champion from Nottingham, had a city named after him in Australia.

He was something of a showman. His fights attracted crowds of 15,000 people and some lasted for 100 rounds.

The fights were not approved of by the law so took place out of town in secluded fields.

Bendigo is credited with inventing the southpaw stance in boxing.

Then there was Tom Hulatt, a colliery worker from Tibshelf in Derbyshire, whose role in Roger Bannister's record-breaking four-minute mile has largely gone unrecognised.

His family and friends believe he was ignored because he was from a working class background at a time when running was only for the wealthy elite.

Only now is his story being told.

Finally there is Tom Blower, a long distance swimmer who in the Thirties was as big a star in Nottingham as Torvill and Dean.

In 1937 he was nicknamed Torpedo because of his record-breaking swim across the English Channel in just 13 hours and 29 minutes.

But his great achievement was to come a decade later. He decided to attempt a feat no-one else had ever accomplished - to swim the Irish Sea in July 1947.

For hours he was buffeted by heavy seas, braving thunderstorms and even losing the use of his left arm for six hours, but finally after 15 hours and 26 minutes he succeeded.

Tom died at the age of 41 from a heart attack and since then his family have battled to make his achievements more widely known.

They are succeeding - a street on a new housing estate will be called Tom Blower Close.

Inside Out, BBC ONE West Midlands, 7.30pm, Monday 21 February



Category: West Midlands TV

Date: 17.02.2005
Printable version


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