Carry On D’Campoing

I dined out at Ginos restaurant on Park Row, in Leeds, yesterday evening.

This sojourn, a date night with the missus involving consumption of an original Neapolitan pizza, a discussion about ferrets, along with a tribute to an entertainer from our youth…… My wife and me are nothing if not eclectic in our conversational topics.

The original Neapolitan pizza, created bereft of tomato sauce, is a particular favourite of mine. Adorning a flavoursome amalgam of cheese, spinach and Italian sausage it’s ordinarily my go to choice from the well stocked and varied menu, created by Gino D’Campo in association with TV puppet Basil Brush.

The chicken dishes appearing on the card courtesy of the gloved fox, everything else on the carte du jour the brainchild of the Naples-born chef. The chirpy TV cuisinier who counts the fragrant Holly Willoughby and silver fox Phillip Schofield among his buddies.

In the interests of completeness, I feel it appropriate to add he’s also got friends named Bridget, Hank, George, Giuseppe, Aliona, Grenville, Pedro, Geraldo, Tim, Keith, Eamon, Marjorie, Ruth, Rylan, Geoff, Kerry, Giannedi, Grant, Theresa, Adam, Christine, Frank, Giacomo, Luciano, Debra, Eddie, Mark, Tuco, Sante, Terry, Dennis, Godfrey, Nigel, Karon, Caroline, Bernardo, Brooke, Julia, Endo, Symphony, Kate, Norma, Siobhan, Niamh, Arthur, Andrew, Chris, Sophia, Tom, Sam, Nichola, Todd, Edgy, Macca, Jude, Diandro, Diane, Trey, James, Christine, Fiona, Trevor, Garfield, Diadora, Kappa, Sendos, Bertrand, Oscar, Leonardo………….

In between courses, I asked the highly affable waitress who served my wife and me if the owner of the Gino restaurant franchise ever cooked in these eateries. She replied he never has time as when he’s not on ITV’s This Morning the chef is busy working his way through his Christmas card list.

ginos buddies
Gino and just a few of his many pals

Being a creature of habit I maintained my food selection status quo by yet again choosing the original Neapoliton pizza. My wife Karen, who’s less set in her ways, plumped for the Chicken Boom Boom. A signature dish of Mr Brush which, along with Chicken HaHaHaHaHa, is particularly popular among the patrons of the Italian eatery.

Karen had nothing but praise for her dish, describing it as flavoursome fare. Although it has to be said, coughing up a fur ball mid-meal did startle the County Durham lass somewhat!

The ferret conversation began during a discussion about this weeks sad death of comedy writer Denis Norden, the presenter of hugely popular 1970’s/80’s outtake show It’ll Be Alright on the Night.

As we expressed our mutual sadness at the passing of a TV icon from our youths, my missus and me felt moved to discuss some of the bloopers broadcast during Norden’s numerous shows a few decades back.

Included in this discussion, Karen raised the subject of the ferret attack experienced by late local news anchor Richard Whiteley. The frontman of Yorkshire TV’s news and current affairs show Calendar receiving a nasty bite from the aforementioned domesticated polecat. A popular clip from one of Denis Nordern’s outtake shows in the 1970’s.

My wife expressed her amusement at this iconic telly blooper from our childhood. Mooting further, in the past she’s pondered getting herself a ferret, training it to attack me should I not desist from habitual mischief making. Prior to scolding me for procrastinating with my meal, telling me “If you don’t eat all of that pizza you’ll not get any ice cream dessert!”

Much to my chagrin, even though I then ate all of my main course, she refused to get me a dessert after spotting I’d not washed behind my ears.

Great pizza, good service and pleasant ambience. No wonder you’ve got loads of mates, not to mention customers, D’Campo.

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