The nation’s favourite wine buff, Jilly Goolden presented the BBC’s Food and Drink show for nearly two decades. Her bubbly personality, flowery language and impertinent bouquet helped advance Britain’s current love of wine.
The original, gesticulating expert demystified everyday table wine for millions of households. Entertaining guests with a blind tasting of New and Old World wines, Jilly starts by introducing the key flavours before encouraging everyone to pick out their good and bad points, and guess the origin and price of each bottle. With large groups, tastings can take the form of a quiz
Jilly reached new audiences through her appearance on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! Alongside Carol Thatcher, she endured a gruesome Bush Tucker Trial and can now confidently advise on the best wine to have with kangaroo’s penis.
Originally a journalist, Jilly contributed to most of the national newspapers and to glossy magazines and periodicals. As well as a number of books about wine (she co-authored five volumes linked to the Food and Drink programme), she has published a book about another of her interests, palmistry.
An experienced lifestyle presenter, series include The Great Antiques Hunt, Going, Going, Gone, Holiday and Extreme Health. And in the world of food and wine, Jilly played judge for the contestants of Soapstar Superchef and Britain’s Best Dish, alongside regular appearances on Saturday Cooks! and Daily Cooks!.
As well as regular appearances on the Holiday programme, Jilly’s other television work includes popular antiques series The Great Antiques Hunt and Going, Going Gone and, for Channel 4, Extreme Health. She has also appeared with Graham Norton, and on It’s Only TV, Jo Brand’s Hot Potatoes, Through the Keyhole, Watchdog, The Heaven & Earth Show, The Chelsea Flower Show and Celebrity Detox.
Jilly continues to delight after dinner audiences with her wine appreciation evenings. She supplies wine lists to suit the budget, and encourages guests to discuss each wine before guessing the price and region of each. Her other after dinner topics include travel, wildlife, antiques, gardening, ghosts and the occult and, of course, life in the jungle.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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