Friday, 11 August 2017

The Big Family Cooking Showdown

The BBC’s new show seems to be lacking flavour

Written by Ben Felsenburg
With the departure of the great British Bake Off to Channel 4, the BBC have been forced to looked around and make the best of whatever ingredients they could find to hand for aBen-Felsenburg-colour-176 replacement. The result is The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Tuesday, BBC2, 8pm), and you can see the dead hand of the slow-witted telly executives all over the results. Paul Hollywood is gone, so in his place as the thinking woman’s beefcake is chef Giorgio Locatelli, while taking the Mary Berry role of sharp-tongued truth-teller is the formidable cookery teacher, Rosemary Shrager. 

Though Zoë Ball and Nadiya Hussain present a suitably affable pair, they’re light on the comedy sparkle of Mel and Sue. Showbiz trimmings aside, the series has a robust, tried and tested format, bringing families together to show their culinary best, first at home and then in the competition kitchen. While you may not be dying to find out the best recipe for fennel and lentil risotto or Swedish meatballs, the pleasure is meeting different characters from across the generations.

Stealing the opening episode is wonderfully vivacious matriarch of the Marks clan, Scandinavian former model and designer Torun, 86, whose appetite for life matches the delicacies she’s whipping up to get her daughter and grandchildren through to the semi-finals. Perhaps the show’s makers could borrow a little of torun’s ineffable zip to sprinkle over the rest of the series. 






NOT TO BE MISSED...

TVCOMP

BRITAIN'S RELATIONSHIP SECRETS WITH ANNE ROBINSON (Monday, BBC1, 9pm)
Five couples open up to reveal their private lives, as Anne Robinson ponders the question of how to have a happy relationship.

NO MORE BOYS AND GIRLS (Wednesday, BBC2, 9pm)
Seven-year-old girls and boys go ‘gender neutral’ in an experiment to find out if male and female roles are the result of nature or nurture.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? (Lulu, Thursday, BBC1, 8pm)
Singer Lulu delves into the secrets of her family past, and why her mother was given away as a baby.


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