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WoodenSpoon was Michael Prior-Jones' cookery show, done in a Blue Peter-ish sort of style. Michael wrote, presented and directed it. This was intended to be a serious cooking programme, unlike the Cooking With series that preceeded it. The programme has a reputation as being cursed in some way, as it never really got filmed satisfactorily after five attempts!

Attempt one

In January 2000, flushed with enthusiasm and spurred on by Chris Parker, a bunch of us dragged a whole load of YSTV kit to the then new-and-shiny James College L block and filmed the show in Michael's kitchen. The equipment used was two Panasonic F10 cameras, the Panasonic MS4 and the Polar vision mixer. Kevin Bowman's bedroom, being next door to the kitchen, was used as the control room - the camera cables were fed out of the kitchen window and back in through the bedroom window. It took all morning to set up (mostly because we didn't understand how to genlock the cameras) and we then recorded it in the afternoon. It failed to actually record because someone had connected the vision mixer directly to the monitor and the VHS recorder to itself, so we got a tape that had sound but no pictures.

Pictures here: Woodenspoon 2000

Attempt two

Returning to the scene of our former failure in the summer term of 2000 (it was Roses weekend, I think), we again rigged up the kit in James and used John Biltcliffe's shiny new Pinnacle editing system to capture the video directly to hard disk. This time it did all record, but was never edited - I think John had issues with the lip-sync, and since all the footage was on his personal machine we didn't get it back after he left York.

Attempt three - The Big Breakfast

The concept of student cooking was used when in June 2000 YSTV were invited down to The Big Breakfast. With the chance to compete for 90 seconds of national airtime, YSTV proposed to bring student cooking to the masses. Unfortunately the Bournemouth student TV station C6 beat them to the slot, so once again Michael Prior-Jones didn't get to show off his cooking skills on TV. The visit was chronicled in YSTV Does It Bigger.

Attempt four

This was much later - in February 2003. The show was shot on a Saturday morning at Lorna Mitchell's shared house near the Victoria Hotel. The multi-camera approach was done away with in favour of some careful planning and a single DV camera, operated by Andrew Talbot, and with Jonathan Bufton on sound. There were some quite inventive attempts at credits, with Michael and Jonathan spelling their names out in Lorna's alphabet fridge magnets and mixing them up, and later reversing the footage!

Andrew edited the show together, but unfortunately due to a muddle with the sound mixing the background music was mixed too loudly and the result is quite hard to understand.

Attempt five

A final attempt to produce WoodenSpoon was made in April 2004, after Michael had graduated, by Jen Ayerst, filmed in Jonathan Bufton's kitchen usual similar methods as attempt four. However the food didn't really cook very well, the presenter was nervous and it was never edited. Maybe one day someone will do the idea justice!

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