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Cooking up a storm

FOOD! Great British Menu, BBC Two, 6.30pm

Well, about bloody time. After all that schedule mucking about with Come Dine With Me and Masterchef, cookery finally returns to its rightful home of 6.30pm, with series three of Great British Menu. Whilst this series will never top the highlight of being a competition to prepare a feast for the Queen (and later being pwned by Her Maj on Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work), it is usually entertaining nonetheless.

And, following the law of diminishing returns, the event this year is even a step down from cooking at the French embassy. Apparently it's cooking at the top of 'The Gherkin' for a bunch of other chefs. Err, right.

The rules have also changed. Instead of two chefs per region, there are now four. We're not sure we approve. We like the way the two people usually develop a weird comeraderie/rivalry. However, Prue Leith, Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort are all present and correct. Let's hope they stick to the forumla of always putting through our least favourites and never changing their clothes, or we won't know where we are.


FEAR! Hollyoaks, Channel 4, 6.30pm

The saga of Jake's descent continues tonight (remember when he was merely a loveable mother killer?) after Friday's suicide/child murder attempt. Is he dead, or like all bad horror movie villains, will he live to see another day? The horror movie angle Hollyoaks has adopted with this story has actually been quite effective, with several jumps and jolts along the way. What it has utterly failed to do, however, is treat mental illness or bereavement with any sympathy whatsoever. But this IS Hollyoaks so we don't know why we'd expect anything different.
We have to say we have no idea where this story is going. We haven't heard that Kevin Sacre is leaving, yet once you have killed someone's mum, thrown away a paternity test result so yuo could pretend a child was yours, stalked and tried to rape your wife, attempted suicide and tried to kill someone else's baby son, where is there left for your character to go? We admire Kevin Sacre and Jessica Fox for their hard work in this storyline, especially as neither Jake or Nancy has come across as particularly sympathetic. And may we also say that Jack and Steph have been wonderful. Frankie has been as inconsistently written as ever.

Elsewhere in this episode, the pressure ramps up in the dull Jacqui/Tony/Mercedes/baby storyline (only worth watching because Mercedes has been transformed into such an awesome soap bitch of late. If she carries on this way, she will soon occupy a similar place to Izzy Hoyland and Clare Devine in our hearts), and in the ridiculous 'ZOMG Baby Leah has leukaemia. LOL not rly!!111!11' storyline.

And Katy and Zak's flirting continues - we aprpove. He actually makes her a tiny bit likeable - there is way more chemistry there than with Nyarshtin, certainly. And Rubbish Tranny takes a few paces back in his rehabilitation into an OK character when he indulges in some Irish Dancing as the soap celebrates St Patrick's Day. We suggest downing a few Guinnesses before watching.

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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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