Nigel Barden is a food and drink broadcaster and champion, with over 30 years of foodie knowledge, experience and tastings under his scrawny belt. 


He has combined a long career at BBC Radio with numerous TV appearances, hosting at live consumer events and food festivals, judging awards and also as a restaurant critic and sought-after food and drink industry compère. 


Nigel's mantra is about good taste, provenance and craftsmanship. Not a chef, but a down to earth cook and pundit with an eye on seasonality and quality ingredients, Nigel cares above all about what people really want to put on their tables and in their bellies. 


He grew up on a farm, worked as a land agent in Yorkshire and is a former wine merchant. Nigel brings experience, fun, banter and impartial recommendations of the best food and drink happenings in the United Kingdom and beyond. 

Broadcasting with Simon Mayo and Chris Evans, on their Sony Gold award-winning Drivetime BBC Radio 2 show for 12 years, Nigel served up weekly dishes for the beloved Foodie Thursday slot. He now has a weekly cookery show on new station Scala Radio with Simon Mayo, on Saturday mornings. As the longest standing contributor to BBC Radio London (since 1990) with the last 25 years on the Robert Elms show, Nigel still enjoys chewing the fat with his old chum Robert every other Friday. Nigel is also a BBC rugby commentator and passionate flowery shirt advocate. 

Radio & Podcasts 


Simon Mayo's Drivetime Show

Next on Air

Thursday 18th March 

Every week on Simon Mayo's show, Nigel joins Simon for banter and  tasty home cooked recipes for the weekend.


Nigel chooses recipes from new or well loved recipes form his extensive cookery book library. He cooks the recipes at home and brings them into the studio on the back of his bike for Simon and the team to try. 

There is always an alcoholic and soft drink that Nigel recommends. Along with a piece of music to compliment his dish. 


Nigel’s a regular on the Robert Elms show,

presenting a fortnightly snapshot of London's vibrant food and drink scene.

Robert's show revels in the stories and characters of the city, along with memories and contributions of the listeners, illustrating why London is such an exciting place to live and work.

The show covers art, architecture, history, theatre, film, sport, shopping and of course drinking and eating, alongside a diverse musical soundtrack.

Here’s a link to Nigel’s BBC Radio London features


Nigel and Britannia Living UK are working together to highlight the finest produce from around the British Isles. Nigel has chosen a number of fabulous food and drink products from bread to charcuterie, to honey and jam, and beer, cider, wine and spirits, as nominated by consumers.

During the 7 podcasts, Nigel discusses

the favourite food items from region or county, as championed by listeners, which have now been pinned on to the Britannia Artisan Food Map. 

Click here to find out more about the winning products.

Nigel's Insta Feed

  • Instagram

Food & Drink Industry Hosting 

Nigel is one the busiest food and drink hosts in the industry and is Chairman of Judges for the Great Taste, World Cheese Awards and Farm Shop & Deli Awards. He judges & hosts the Deliciously Yorkshire Awards and as a huge fan of seafood was delighted to host the National Fish & Chip Awards for 4 years running.

He is a keen supporter of Action Against Hunger


Nigel champions local, artisan food and drink producers from all over the UK. Growing up on a farm he has great respect and understanding of the farming community and to those who sell their home crafted produce at farm doors, markets and farm shops.​

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An elite group of Great Taste Judges from culinary world debate whether Nigel Barden would win a fight against John Farrand, CEO of The Guild of Fine Foods. 

Credits; Lucas Hollweg, Druv Baker, Lotte Duncan, Jane Parkinson, Will Torrent, Felicity Cloake, Zoe Adjonyah, Gill Meller and Patrick McGuigan 


Nigel on Telly

Nigel adds experience, humour and charm as a TV food and drink host.  He regularly appears on BBC Inside Out and has hosted his own show 'Nigel Barden's Drivetime Dishes' on Amazon Prime.

Originally a Yorkshire based wine merchant he has real breadth of knowledge of the drinks world, alongside an exuberant passion for local and artisan foods. His agricultural background gives him an informed perspective on news relating to the farming community. 

His Sicilian-Brummie wife and three teenage sons keep him busy and grounded! Nigel moved to London at the age of 30 to train as an actor, so he can always bring theatrical flair to proceedings, when needed. 


BBC Inside Out


Six Episodes of Nigel Bardens Drive Time Dishes, available on Simply Food TV & Amazon Prime Video
Drivetime Dishes


For conference presenting, awards hosting,

after-dinner speaking, food and drinks tastings,

 please contact: Rosie Money-Coutts at Ibison Talent Group

Email: Tel. +44 (0)7979 157873

For voice-over or narration work, 

please contact: Voice Squad Tel. +44 (0)20 8450 4451