By EWEN McDONALD
Gosh, I do like that Nigella Lawson, the cook on the telly from England - no, not him, the posh woman.
She's so awfully ... well, you know, you wouldn't catch her saying "mate" all the time like that other chap, would you?
I just love it when she says things in that lovely accent like, "Take some goose fat, should you have some about the house," and "You might be familiar with my method of preparing pomegranates."
I just can't understand why so many people don't like her like I do.
One of the girls in the office says she doesn't like Nigella because she puts her fingers in the food and plays with her hair when she's cooking.
One of the girls in the office says her husband can't stand all the cooking shows on TV and always grabs the remote, even when that Jamie or Jo Seagar are just on the ads. But he always wants to watch Nigella because he likes the way she licks her fingers.
One of the girls in the office says she doesn't like Nigella because she drains the dregs from her guests' wine glasses and freezes the contents to use for cooking.
My colleague says that epitomises her stingy, mean approach to food and hospitality. She reckons Nigella probably intimidates her guests into not draining their glasses as well ...
One of the girls in the office says she doesn't like Nigella because the sort of stuff she has in her kitchen would have cost the same as equipping a Michelin three-star restaurant. But then she reckons that it's not right to wear a pashmina to a barbecue. I say it must be because Nigella does it.
One of the girls in the office says she doesn't like Nigella because she eats fried pig's ear in front of the telly when she's alone, but that one's a vegan and probably going to have roast tofu breast for her Christmas dinner so what would she know?
She's probably just the sort who'd like Nigella's chestnut and lentil soup and Italian preserved vegetables, if she tried it.
One of the girls in the office says she doesn't like Nigella because she's supposed to be a cook and a deep-fried Bounty bar is not real food.
Well, she should see what Nigella cooks tonight: things like Rudolph Pie (shepherd's pie made with venison and porcini mushrooms).
I told one of my friends she's going to do this, and now she's going to do it with the deer that her husband shot in the Mamakus and some mushrooms that she got from 3 Guys.
Nigella says that by planning ahead, everyone can have the perfect Christmas feast. She's right, too - you just have to make sure you live just down the road from a really good Italian deli.
As she says, her ideas are great for those days between Christmas and the New Year when you can shed your relatives and fill your home with friends again. But I suppose Nigella's never had 12 from the other side of the family crashing at her bach at Whitianga for three weeks.
Anyway, one of the girls in the office says she likes Nigella because she looks good in a pink cardy, and she's right. Anyone who takes fashion advice from Naomi Lange can't be all bad, I say.
* Nigella's Christmas Bites, TV One, 8 pm
By EWEN McDONALD