Icon: Two Fat Ladies - Proper TV cooks

Two thundering game birds who cooked thundering game birds, and batted about on a trusty Thunderbird combination

Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright were the Two Fat Ladies. They rode into our TV lives seven years ago and tore up the cookbooks of the politically correct along the way

The Two Fat Ladies rode on to our television screens back in 1996 and thanks to their trademark full-fat, non-pc cooking and Triumph Thunderbird with Watsonian Squire sidecar, they fast became a big hit.

The theme of the show was simple and effective. Jennifer Paterson (dark haired fat one with glasses) and Clarissa Dickson Wright (the other one) would ride somewhere in the Trumpet combination, offer to do lunch for some people (a fox hunt, Catholic girls' school, local Fabian society) cook some exceedingly rich food, smother it with bacon, lard and fresh veggies, and serve it up.

What made the show was the girls cavalier attitude to life. As well as riding the Trumpet, they liked their tabs and booze and had a killer line in thigh-slapping banter. Jennifer was born in 1928 and was expelled from convent school at 15 saying "They said if I left, the school might settle down." She worked as housekeeper for a Ugandan diplomat but undiplomatically said to his face she hated his habit of "dragging back white trash" to his home. That was the end of that job.

She never married and apparently was a noted 'fag hag' who once told the unmarried female producer of the show to get herself "a nice poof..." Bikes and scooters were one of her passions (along with the booze and fags) and since the 1970s she rode a Honda C90 as a means to get around London. The Triumph was owned by the BBC and took some getting used to after the Cub - filming the first episode, she crashed headlong into the camera. Sadly, the years of Woodbines took their toll and Jennifer died of cancer in '99, aged 71. Shortly before her death, she told anyone who visited to bring caviar, rather than flowers. A biker to the last her favourite crash helmet (with the words 'Born Wild' on it) was buried with her.

Clarissa has lived an equally colourful life. She became a trial lawyer at 21, before squandering away an inheritance on booze and fags (apparently, she packed away two bottles of gin a day, and 100 fags). Apparently, she then turned to cookery when she found that - unlike law - it was something she could do while drunk. Bravely she later beat the booze and has been on the wagon ever since. As well as her time on Two Fat Ladies, Clarissa is a cricket umpire to this day and a noted expert on cookery books, having also written her own called The Haggis. Unsurprisingly, she adores Scotland and lives there as well as being elected Rector of the University of Aberdeen in 1999.

These game old birds who cooked old game birds are alright in our book - we love ya ladies.