Jennifer Paterson, 71, half of the BBC cooking duo whose "Two Fat Ladies" show was syndicated in 10 countries, died of cancer Aug. 10 in a hospital here.
Miss Paterson and her colleague, Clarissa Dickson Wright, had emerged recently as cult figures on U.S. television, where tamer chefs such as Martha Stewart often bore aficionados with their delicately prepared dishes and even more carefully chosen words.
Loud, funny and unashamedly corpulent, the chain-smoking Miss Paterson and her equally portly partner were famous around the world for their eccentric culinary antics.
Miss Paterson was filmed for the show driving a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle, with Dickson Wright riding its Watsonian sidecar. They rode from one cooking job to the next, chortling and trading wry quips about food, love and life, without regard, as one journalist noted, to the more tortured sensitivities of the 1990s.
Miss Paterson, often filmed with a cigarette clamped firmly in her mouth, spoke with an upper-class accent and boomed out her opinions at will. She wore black-rimmed eyeglasses, vivid nail polish and plenty of makeup while she concocted her dishes. She described them as "domestic cooking, not flibbertigibbet restaurant cooking."
Dickson Wright said her partner was "a constant source of surprise." Rejecting the pretensions of haute cuisine, the cooks dipped into treacle tarts, streaky bacon and deviled kidneys without regard to calories, cholesterol or arteries.
"Jennifer was a life force on the side of all things that were politically incorrect," said Will Wyatt, chief executive of BBC Broadcast.
Miss Paterson was born in London, spent her first four years in China and returned with her family to England, where she attended a Catholic boarding school. She was expelled at age 15 for being disruptive.
She got only one more year of schooling before moving to Berlin, where her father had been posted in the army. She went on to teach English in Portugal and later lived in Venice and Sicily. She also spent time in Libya, where she cared for an aunt and uncle's children.
In 1952, she returned to London and began working for magazines and later the TV show "Candid Camera." In 1977, she landed the job of cook for the Spectator magazine, and remained in the post for 15 years.
She also contributed columns to the magazine and to the Oldie, a monthly humor publication, and participated in other BBC programs about food.
It was in 1996 that the BBC teamed her with Miss Dickson Wright for the program that made them international celebrities. They barely knew each other at the time, but "the first day taping, it was as though we had cooked together all our lives," Dickson Wright said.
Miss Paterson, who shared a London apartment with her uncle, is survived by two brothers.