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Express yourself clearly

COOKING! Nigella Express, BBC2, 8.30pm

Nigella ExpressPerhaps it's just us, but watching Nigella just isn't as much fun as it used to be. Far be it from us to be the sort of boring old fart who reminisces about the good old days when all this were nowt but fields, and you could go out with sixpence ha'penny in your pocket, have a couple of beers and a pickled egg and still have money left for your bus fare home, but we remember when her shows used to be a guilty pleasure. Actually, more than that: they were aspirational pornography. We wanted to be Nigella so badly it sort of hurt a little bit.

And yet, when we see her in her new series, the magic seems to have gone. Somewhere along the line Nigella seems to have descended into self-parody; there were points last week where we turned around to our flatmates to verify that we were definitely watching Nigella, and not watching Ronni Ancona "doing" Nigella or something along those lines. And to make matters worse, there's just the slightest hint of smug in her delivery these days. We hate to say it, but it's true. Argh, we feel like horrible people for saying that. What's the appropriate number of Hail Marys for blaspheming a domestic goddess?

Nevertheless, whatever we may think of her presentation style, we still can't help tuning in and we still want to be able to make all the amazingly artery-clogging foods she serves up. This week's meals have a Latin theme, and our stomach is growling at the thought of the griddled ham and cheese quesadilla. Not that we own a griddle pan, of course. At least some things never change.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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