During his time as an inspector with the Paris Sûreté, Monsieur Pamplemousse had been 'in at the death' on more than one occasion, but even he had to admit that the phrase took on an entirely new meaning when he was present at the spectacular ending to Cuisine de Chavignol, France's premier television cookery programme.
Seated in the front row of an invited studio audience, he watched in silent horror as the eponymous host, having downed an oyster in close-up, uttered a strangled cry and sank from view behind a kitchen worktop. Pommes Frites, sniffer dog extraordinaire, has his own views on the matter: Claude Chavignol was a really bad egg...
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