Friday, 22 January 2016

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off

Will it be canapes or catastrophe on Bake Off?

Written by Ben Felsenburg
Ben-Felsenburg-colour-176I don’t want to cause you undue concern, but you should be aware that the Prime Minister’s been getting worried – so much so that David Cameron told his beloved wife Samantha: ‘Just get through it. Good luck, darling.’ So what was the impending crisis – a financial crash? War? No, far more serious – SamCam’s debut moment on The Great Sport Relief Bake Off (BBC One, Wednesday, 8.30pm). You can’t blame Dave, for which of us would not fret at the thought of our loved ones being exposed to the merciless verdicts of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood?

Of course, it’s all to raise money for the best of causes – Sport Relief is helping to provide shelter for homeless young Africans – but there’s no sense of charity as the contestants line up in the cauldron of competition that is the Bake Off tent. While Mrs C reveals her husband’s night-before fears, she’s ranged against laddish comedian Jason Manford, towering ex-footballer David James and EastEnders star Maddy Hill. The challenges begin with the little matter of making perfectly formed canapes from scratch.

Bakers who, like me, have tried to pull that off and ended up with a crime scene of indigestible stodge know that puff pastry is not to be scoffed at. Delightfully self-deprecating and shy of the limelight, Mrs Cameron stands out from the mass of celebrities who appear on these shows. You’ll have to watch to find out if she has the baking talent to match her charm.



Mary Berry’s Foolproof Cooking BBC2, Mon, 8.30pm
Listen carefully now, notepads at the ready, as the Bake Off judge shares her brilliantly simple recipes.

The Real Marigold Hotel BBC2, Tues, 9pm Jan
Leeming and Wayne Sleep are among the veteran stars (above) sampling the joys of life in India.

Beatrix Potter With Patricia Routledge More4, Tues, 9pm
The actress (above), patron of the Beatrix Potter Society, marks the 150th anniversary of the author’s birth with this documentary.

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