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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 BBC Radio 2 show for 12 years, Nigel served up weekly dishes. Having worked with Simon for two years on Scala Radio, they have moved to the Drivetime Show on Greatest Hits Radio, along with old BBC mucker, Matt Williams, for a foodie Thursday extravaganza, serving up a 'Kitchen's Greatest Hit' dish (click here for Nigel's GHR profile).


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 July 6.05pm

Every week with Simon Mayo and Matt Williams, Nigel serves up a 'Kitchen's Greatest Hit', which is his take on a well known dish, along with a veggie version.


He also pours out an alcoholic and soft drink to accompany the dish.

click here for recipes


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.

  • Instagram

Nigel's Instagram  Feed

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Industry Awards

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.​

For conference presenting, awards hosting,

after-dinner speaking, food and drinks tastings - 

Contact;  Rosie Money-Coutts at Ibison Talent Group


Tel. +44 (0)7979 157873


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. 





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