Johnnie Cradock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Johnnie Cradock
Born John Whitby Cradock[1]
(1904-05-17)17 May 1904
Lambeth, London, England[1]
Died 30 January 1987(1987-01-30) (aged 82)
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
Occupation Major, British Army
Known for Cookery

Major John "Johnnie" Whitby Cradock (17 May 1904 in Lambeth, London[2] – 30 January 1987 in Basingstoke, Hampshire[3]) was an English cook, writer and broadcaster and the fourth husband of television cook and writer Fanny Cradock.


Cradock attended Harrow School and served in the British Army, reaching the rank of Major in the Royal Artillery. At the age of twenty, he played rugby for Beckenham RFC[4] during the 1924/5 season alongside a seventeen-year-old James Robertson Justice who would later become an actor.

He is best remembered as being the long-suffering stooge for his wife in their popular British cooking programmes which were shown from the 1950s to the 1970s. Wearing a traditional blazer and sporting a monocle above his trademark handlebar moustache, he would remain around the back of Fanny's studio sets awaiting her imperious commands which, when they came, often resulted in him being berated for being too slow.

With his wife, he wrote a number of popular cookery books. Johnnie and Fanny also wrote the "Bon Viveur" restaurant column for The Daily Telegraph newspaper from 1950 to 1955. This was one of Britain's first restaurant columns and led to their first television series in 1955.

At first they presented the BBC's "Kitchen Magic", but were soon poached by ITV's first cooking programme, which they presented as "Fanny & Johnnie".

At that time Johnnie and Fanny were not married. Fanny adopted his name for their writing and television work and they eventually married in 1977.[5] The marriage was in fact bigamous as Fanny was still married to her second husband, and fraudulent as she lied about her age on the marriage certificate.[6]

TV series[edit]

  • Chez Bon Viveur
  • Cradock Cooks for Christmas
  • Dinner Party
  • Fanny Cradock Invites
  • Fanny's Kitchen
  • The Cradocks

Publications (with Fanny Cradock)[edit]

  • Fanny & Johnnie's Cook's Essential Alphabet (1979) - ISBN 0-491-02307-3
  • Fanny & Johnnie Cradock's Freezer Book (1978) - ISBN 0-491-02313-8
  • Fanny & Johnnie Cradock's Cook Hostess' Book (1970) - ISBN 0-00-435151-7
  • The Daily Telegraph Cook's Book by Bon Viveur (1964) - ISBN 0-00-611940-9
  • Something's Burning: The Autobiography of Two Cooks (1960) - ISBN B0000CKKMR


  1. ^ a b "FreeBMD Entry Info". 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  2. ^ GRO Register of Births: JUN 1904 1d 502 LAMBETH - John Whitby Cradock
  3. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: FEB 1987 20 127 BASINGSTOKE - John Whitby Cradock, DoB = 17 May 1904, aged 82
  4. ^ "Beckenham Rugby Club". 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  5. ^ GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1977 17 1134 SURREY SW - John CRADOCK = Phyllis CHAPMAN
  6. ^ "Fanny Cradock - People -". 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2017-11-21.