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Keith Floyd Remembered

The UK's original celebrity chef, Keith Floyd, died on Monday 15 September from a heart attack prompting tributes from fellow chefs including Jamie Oliver and Raymond Blanc.

Keith Floyd was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary by long-time fan Keith Allen which was aired at 10pm on the same evening as the chef's death. According to Lily Udomkunnatum, the manager director of Floyd's Brasserie in Phuket, Keith died when "he had just finished watching the documentary."

In the film Floyd talks candidly about his disdain for television cooking programs. He was famous for his 'rock'n'roll' approach to television, where he talked directly to the camera crew and frequently displayed his fondness for alcohol, in particular wine. Raymond Blanc has said: "In his own characteristic way, Floyd was a genius. He demystified food and made it a popular craft. He was the first chef to reform TV completely." Jamie Oliver believes "Keith was not just one of the best, he was the best television chef."

Floyd's career in television began in 1984 when Floyd on Fish was broadcast. There followed a series of programs culminating in his last series, Floyd in India, in 2001. He has written 20 books and owned several restaurants, all of which were closed or sold. In the Keith Allen documentary, he admits that he has always been more interested in entertaining than making money.

Having previously suffered a stroke, Keith Floyd was diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier this year and returned to the UK from his Avignon home to investigate chemotherapy treatment. His autobiography, "Stirred But Not Shaken' was due to be published next month. Lily Udomkunnatum recounts how: "Not a day went past when he did not put on his best dinner jacket and bow-tie and greet every single guest that came in to the brasserie." A tribute evening is being organized for Keith Floyd at his brasserie on Phuket on September 17th.


Marian Buckley


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