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'Dreadful' mince pies and macho monkfish – a history of TV's Christmas cookery

Where once the tradition was for instructional recipes and meagre treats, now it is lavish escapism and, of course, Nigella. So, what does this say about society?

‘I always think, and you’ll probably agree with me, that mincemeat is the Cinderella of Christmas cooking,” declared Fanny Cradock in her clipped tones during 1975’s Fanny Cradock Cooks for Christmas. “Those dreadful little bitty mince pies. You know, first bite up to the mincemeat, second bite over.” We’ve come a long way from Cradock’s austere cooking, particularly her Royal mincemeat-stuffed omelette, cooked in what looks like the test kitchen of a particularly battle-worn home economics teacher, who’s had quite enough of the year sevens playing up at the back, thank you. It’s 2017, and we’ve been spoiled all year with unicorn lattes, “cloud eggs” and charcoal ice-cream. It makes sense, then, that the modern TV audience now demands cinnamon-scented indulgence from chefs,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

J.K. Rowling Is 1 of Only 65 People to Hold This Royal Honor

  • Popsugar
J.K. Rowling Is 1 of Only 65 People to Hold This Royal Honor
Jk Rowling had a busy and exciting day on Tuesday, when she received the Companion of Honor from Prince William at Buckingham Palace. The author described herself as feeling "deeply honored and proud" to be awarded the honor for her services in literature and philanthropy. It comes after a testing few days for Rowling, who was forced to finally make a statement about the controversial casting of Johnny Depp in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald. The Order of Companions of Honor was established in 1971 to recognize outstanding achievement in the arts and is an award only held by a limited number of 65 people at once. Rowling joins the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Hawking, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Maggie Smith, and Delia Smith. The author said in a statement, "To be included in the distinguished and diversely talented company of the other Companions of Honor,
See full article at Popsugar »

BBC gets ready for last ever slice of Bake Off

Baking show finale on Wednesday will herald the end of an era with the next series to be broadcast on Channel 4

Not since Delia Smith retired from TV cookery has an era of British baking come to such a dramatic and nationally-mourned close. On Wednesday night, the BBC will broadcast its final ever episode of the Great British Bake Off, the show that over seven seasons has become nothing short of an institution and elevated its former contestants to television royalty.

The tensest battle in baking will be fought between Pe teacher Candice Brown, jet engine engineer Andrew Smyth and garden designer Jane Beedle, who, over seven weeks, have had regular audiences of more than 10 million gripped with sagas of leaking fish pies, collapsed meringues and flat yorkshire puddings.

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Robot Wars episode 2 review

Louisa Mellor Aug 2, 2016

Fun and frivolous, Robot Wars continued this week with another shock exit and some unforgiveable showboating…

This review contains spoilers.

I’ll tell you who’s doing well out of the Robot Wars revival, those print shops you drive past on the outskirts of towns that make custom hoodies. You’re no-one on this show if you’re not wearing a lightweight, breathable polo shirt embroidered with a word that probably sounded like a good idea when you made it up in your shed. Those guys must be raking it in.

Viewers at home, as it goes, aren’t doing badly out of it either. The second episode of Robot Wars was just as much frivolous fun as the first, even if it did feature what judge Professor Noel Sharkey called “the worst fight I’ve ever seen on the whole of Robot Wars”.

That was a
See full article at Den of Geek »

The real legacy of the 80s: political pop, alternative comedy and edgy cinema

A new BBC2 series paints the decade in a conservative light, but there was more to the era than mullets and Maggie

Dominic Sandbrook is a capable but conservative historian; when not making TV programmes he writes for the Daily Mail. And The 80s With Dominic Sandbrook is a capable but conservative history of the 1980s. It shows how the decade rolled out across the popular surfaces of Middle England, of Delia Smith, the Austin Metro, moral panic over Aids, Ikea, microwaved food. All of these played their part in a consumerist, individualist decade, in which the old certainties of industrial Britain were left behind.

Related: Batwings and bombers: get the 80s look

Related: At last, a film about the 80s that tells it like it was … without leg-warmers

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'We can't write without quoting her': your tributes to Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood’s sad death from cancer led to an outpouring of love and the sharing of adored comedy lines all over the Guardian site

It’s been a bad year already for the loss of likeable celebrities, but the death of Victoria Wood at the age of 62 has led to an outpouring of love and affection across the Guardian. Lucy Mangan’s lovely tribute received hundreds of comments paying tribute to the comedian and actor.

“She was just one of us, like Rik Mayall was,” said Reggie Blue. “She understood the struggle and the minutiae of every day living.”

Lovely tribute. I remember first seeing her on TV when I was about ten and thinking - oh! She's like my mum. They let normal people on telly! It was important to me. And of course she was funny. Maybe there wouldn't be a Dinnerladies without Fawlty Towers but the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BAFTA to honour Alien editor Terry Rawlings

  • ScreenDaily
BAFTA to honour Alien editor Terry Rawlings
Editor behind Alien, Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire and Goldeneye to receive tribute event.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced that editor Terry Rawlings will be the subject of a BAFTA Tribute on Dec 7 at the organisation’s Piccadilly headquarters in London.

‘A BAFTA Tribute: Terry Rawlings’ will honour his contribution to picture and sound editing, and will celebrate a career spanning 50 years.

Nik Powell, chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “Terry Rawlings is one of the great editors of both sound and picture.

“For more than half a century his work has been admired by all – not least the huge audiences who have, maybe unknowingly, experienced his influence on films like The L Shaped Room, Women in Love and Bedazzled in the 1960s, The Duellists, The Great Gatsby and The Devils in the 1970s, through to classics such as Watership Down, Alien, Chariots of Fire, Yentl, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

5 reasons we really need Chris Evans to bring back Tfi Friday

You couldn't get much more '90s than Tfi Friday. Even if you watched an episode of Friends while wearing a fisherman's hat with Shed Seven playing 'Chasing Rainbows' at the same time in your living room, it still wouldn't be as '90s as Chris Evans stood at a bar, shouting "Wiiiiiilll" in between bursts of 'The Riverboat Song'.

So when Chris Evans revealed over the Bank Holiday that Channel 4 had approached him to revive the show to mark its 20th anniversary next year (it isn't actually 20 until 2016, but let's not quibble over small details), there were understandably a few groans from people who thought the rowdy entertainment show should be left in the decade of Cool Britannia, Hooch and Kula Shaker.

But we disagree, for the five following reasons:

1. Tfi was live. Tfi was unpredictable.

Well, it was normally live. It was until Shaun Ryder
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Mary Berry's cherries raise supermarket sales as 'Bake-Off effect' takes hold

Great British Bake Off show is whipping up sales of glacé cherries just as Delia Smith used to induce shortages of ingredients such as cranberries

Shoppers are snapping up glacé cherries, as The Great British Bake Off begins to drive sales at the nation's supermarkets.

Upmarket grocer Waitrose reported a 25% lift in sales of the processed cherries after a recent episode of the hit TV show, in which contestants competed to make their own version of co-judge Mary Berry's cherry cake.

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

10 Reasons Why Burnley Are Unexpectedly Back In The Premier League

Martin Rickett/Pa Archive/Press Association Images

Burnley’s return to the Premier League came completely out of the blue, and in fact before last season began, the club were one of the bookies’ favourites for relegation. The season before had hardly been distinguished and with just a handful of games to go, relegation was a real possibility, which is perhaps where the pessimism came from, but against the odds, and against the odd-makers, Burnley sealed their return back to the big-time ahead of big-money clubs like Qpr.

So just how did it happen, that a small and unfancied club, facing real problems once the parachute money ran out, confounded the critics and achieved a modern day football miracle? With money too tight to mention, a small squad that you’d describe as football wanderers came together, gelled, bonded, and despite warnings from all the pundits and fellow pros that
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

It's baking me mad. Why it's time to call a halt to this latest food fetishism

The nation has gone cake crazy – from the adulation for Mary Berry to rows over foodie mashups. Perhaps it's all gone a little too far …

Just in time for national baking week – and just when you thought the whole "gate" thing couldn't get any sillier – along came #duffingate. The row last week between a not so humble London bakery and Starbucks was the icing on the cake for the American "Franken-pastry" trend that has engulfed the foodie world.

Bakery owner Bea Vo, of Bea's of Bloomsbury, who runs four cafes across London, was shocked to discover that "her" invention, the duffin, a cross between a doughnut and a muffin (what was wrong with "muffnut"?), has been trademarked by Starbucks supplier Rich's Products. Supposedly irritating though this may be for the parties involved, it has been a stroke of PR genius for both Bea's and Starbucks, which has never had enjoyed
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Waitrose: The Great British Bake Off whips up demand for pastry and sugar

Supermarket says the cooking show is behind a 12% surge in sales of homebaking products and plays part in shopping habits

The Great British Bake Off's combination of warm-hearted competition, stressful cooking and comedy cake collapses has been pulling in TV audiences of more than five million a week.

But according to Waitrose, the BBC2 show may be playing a part in changing British shopping habits.

According to the upmarket supermarket, the fourth series of the show, which returned in August, has "been whipping up demand" for pastry and sugar.

Releasing its weekly sales figures on Friday, Waitrose claimed that the show was behind a 12% surge in sales of homebaking products in the seven days ending 21 September.

That was the week when the Bake Off contestants were called on to make dainty biscuits and elaborate gingerbread concoctions, following previous showdowns over who could make the fluffiest muffins and the creamiest custard tarts.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

How The Great British Bake Off made me a baker

I never intended to watch the cooking contest, but somehow, under its influence, I began to bake some very outlandish cakes

It's hard to say for sure if I've ever truly watched The Great British Bake Off. I certainly never came home from work, turned on the television and said: "I know what I'd like to watch right now – a load of people competing over who can make the nicest victoria sponge." Likewise, I have absolutely no memories of anything that ever happened on any of the show's episodes – who was on it, what they did, where they did it – beyond occasional, dream-like recollections of a nice old lady talking about jam.

Yet despite never intentionally watching it, there is an overwhelming degree of evidence that – sometime around autumn 2011 – I began absorbing the show via a sugary form of osmosis. The evidence was there to see in my kitchen cupboard – bowls,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

MasterChef? Delia Smith should try watching Man v Food

Delia has criticised MasterChef for making food into 'theatre' – but what would she think about the new breed of trashy, macho food TV?

There are two very different types of food television right now. There are the shows everyone from the laziest sports science student to your nan knows and watches. The terrestrial, safe, twee, scallops'n'cauliflower puree world of MasterChef, the Hairy Bikers and Great British Bake Off. They love "I wish my Mum were here to see this" narratives. The food they serve up is the kind of thing you'd see at a posh wedding or golf-course hotel. It's nice. Such programmes have been accused of forgetting the real essence of cooking TV, and even the home baking matriarch herself, Delia Smith, has waded in, grumbling that "nobody teaches people how to cook any more".

That might be true, Delia, but have you seen Man v Food? It barely
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Delia Smith: MasterChef intimidates aspiring cooks

Veteran TV chef criticises embellished meals on modern cookery shows and says British home cooking must go back to basics

Delia Smith has criticised shows such as MasterChef for intimidating aspiring cooks, and claims the country has lost its grip on home cooking.

Smith, 71, who recently announced her retirement from broadcasting after 40 years as one of the UK's leading TV chefs and has launched an online cookery school, said one of the reasons for starting the new venture was that "nobody teaches people how to cook any more".

She also has harsh words for modern cookery shows in an interview in the latest issue of Radio Times, published on Tuesday, saying they presented food as theatre instead of teaching the basics.

Asked by the listings magazine whether she worried that shows such as MasterChef intimidated rather than inspired, Smith said: "Yes, I would never be a judge on that. They
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BAFTA TV Awards: Full Winners List - From Olivia Colman To 'Made In Chelsea'

BAFTA TV Awards: Full Winners List - From Olivia Colman To 'Made In Chelsea'
With '2012', 'Accused', 'The Girl' and 'Last Tango In Halifax' all up for four awards tonight, and no 'Sherlock', 'Doctor Who' or even 'Downton Abbey' to steal the limelight, it's all to play for at this year's BAFTA TV Awards ceremony. Here are all the winners, as they happen.

Full nominees list here, Winners In Bold...

Leading Actor

Sean Bean - Accused (Tracie's Story)

Derek Jacobi - Last Tango in Halifax

Toby Jones - The Girl

Ben Whishaw - Richard II (The Hollow Crown)

Leading Actress

Rebecca Hall - Parade's End

Sienna Miller - The Girl

Anne Reid - Last Tango in Halifax

Sheridan Smith - Mrs Biggs

Supporting Actor

Peter Capaldi - The Hour

Stephen Graham - Accused (Tracie's Story)

Harry Lloyd - The Fear

Simon Russell Beale - Henry IV Part 2 (The Hollow Crown)

Supporting Actress

Olivia Colman - Accused (Mo's Story)

Anastasia Hille
See full article at Huffington Post »

Jamie Oliver named best TV foodie

Jamie Oliver has been named the best TV foodie of all time. The celebrity chef - who has hosted a string of cookery shows on Channel 4, including 'Jamie's School Dinners' and 'Jamie's 30 Minute Meals' - has topped a poll of the best TV culinary experts, beating the the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Delia Smith to take the title after earning 15 per cent. Gordon - whose programmes include 'Kitchen Nightmares' and 'The F Word' - took second place with 11 per cent of the vote, but the foul-mouthed cook shares the position with domestic goddess Delia, who gained the
See full article at Virgin Media - Celebrity »

Jamie Oliver named best TV foodie

Jamie Oliver has been named the best TV foodie of all time. The celebrity chef - who has hosted a string of cookery shows on Channel 4, including 'Jamie's School Dinners' and 'Jamie's 30 Minute Meals' - has topped a poll of the best TV culinary experts, beating the the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Delia Smith to take the title after earning 15 per cent. Gordon - whose programmes include 'Kitchen Nightmares' and 'The F Word' - took second place with 11 per cent of the vote, but the foul-mouthed cook shares the position with domestic goddess Delia, who gained the
See full article at Virgin Media - TV »

Delia Smith on her recipe for success | Media Monkey

Delia Smith's 40-year broadcasting career and contribution to TV cookery, which began with a five-minute pilot in which she made "Alpine eggs" in a hastily assembled BBC studio, was marked on Tuesday night by a Bafta tribute in central London, including an award handed over by Victoria Wood. Asked who would come to her dream dinner party, she nominated Pope Francis – "I would try and do something Argentinian" – corned beef hash, suggested one of her fans. Delia, who recently announced that she was quitting TV to focus on launching her own online cookery school, when asked for her views on modern celebrity chefs, replied: "My food had to be the star… Food isn't theatre … Our problem is we don't think highly enough of it, we have to turn it into something else." She said that while there are lots of food programmes, "what is missing is the basics, young
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

John Cain obituary

My friend and colleague John Cain, who has died aged 89, played a major part in the development of social action broadcasting in Britain, through Broadcast Support Services (Bss), which made possible the charity appeals and sensitive phone referral services that are now commonplace.

From 1972 to 1977, he was the head of further education, television, at the BBC. He had wide interests and enthusiasms, encouraging series about the blues, Diy animated film-making, learning languages, the history of Ireland – and the debut of Delia Smith. During these years the department also played a major part in the BBC adult literacy project, particularly through the 1975 series On the Move, starring Bob Hoskins.

Referral lines needed to be set up so that people could find help locally. The BBC governors ruled that the licence fee could not be used to fund them. At a very late stage, the money had to be found to set
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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