Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food - TV Review

Anyone who has seen Tom Kerridge on ‘Great British Menu’ or ‘Saturday Kitchen’ will be aware of his signature culinary style: hearty, no-nonsense gourmet pub grub served with enthusiasm (and extra helpings).

This series will follow the trend, beginning with a visit to a Bermondsey market in search of inspiration for pickle and salt beef bagels, where he treats friends and strangers alike to some ‘proper ace’ stews and puddings.

His prompts towards decadence – go on, have another one, and why not use double cream this time? – are genuinely endearing, if not so good for the thighs.

Although the Michelin-starred Kerridge’s ‘no-nonsense’ includes adding saffron (‘in weight, more expensive than gold’) to salt fish and a ‘polishing’ of individual carrots to get them really smooth, he looks guilty enough about it to get away with it, the scamp.

Cookery shows come and go, but if one gets you reaching for the pen and paper, then it’s a fair sign of success – and this reviewer was writing down recipes instead of taking notes.


The Wrong Mans - TV  Review

I'm also holding out hope for BBC1's The Wrong Mans. Mathew Baynton from CBBC's Horrible Histories plays Sam Pinkett, an employee of Berkshire County Council who gets mixed up in a thriller plot-line entirely at odds with his mundane existence to date. Gavin & Stacey's James Corden (who also co-wrote the script with Baynton) plays his colleague Phil Bourne, a man who makes up in enthusiasm what he lacks in common sense.

Wisely judging that the Hitchcock reference will go over our heads, this first episode of six spent much of its time in setting tone. Thanks to slick direction and, one suspects, a large chunk of the BBC's autumn budget, it certainly looks as good as a Hollywood thriller.

It's only a shame that the combination of ordinary blokes and extraordinary setting won't feel original to anyone who's seen Shaun of the Dead or any other Simon Pegg/Nick Frost collaboration. Unlike Pegg/Frost, Baynton/Corden isn't yet a natural double act with natural chemistry. Instead, they came across like the straight man(s) in search of a comedian.

Still, if Baynton and Corden don't do it for you, we're promised forthcoming episodes will include a supporting cast of contemporary comedy talent to compensate. There's Him and Her's Sarah Solemani, The Thick of It's Paul Higgins and Dawn French, among others. As the trail for next week's episode revealed, Lock Stock's Nick Moran will also be stomping around doing his well-worn cockney gangster bit. But don't let that put you off.



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TV Reviews

Two new BBC shows to look at this week.  James Corden is back with ‘The Wrong Mans’.  Corden has put ‘Horne & Corden’ firmly behind him now, with a string of successes, will this be another.

Tom Kerridge is a genius in the kitchen, and incredibly affable on screen.  Will this translate well into his new show.  It will not be appreciated by the British Heart Foundation, however the recipes look fantastic.  We look at Time Out London’s review of the new show.