Mary Portas, the self-styled Queen of Shops, is back to save the high street from itself (Mary, Queen of Shops, 9pm, BBC2, Monday 7 June).

She breezed in on a gust of messianic zeal, striding past derelict shops under ominous London skies reminiscent of 28 Days Later. Aptly, what followed was a horror show.

Portas was tasked with rescuing Maher & Sons, a fading indie baker in Raynes Park, from the march of the mults. In charge was Angela, a woman more stubborn than an ill-tempered mule with a whole portion of chips on its shoulder.

She seemed hell-bent on failure, shuffling towards financial oblivion with the grim determination of a George Romero zombie - albeit one groaning about "breeeeeead" not "braaaaaains".

"If Angela is half as sweet as her cakes, we'll be fine," Mary began.

But she wasn't. In fact, Angela - a dead ringer for Tony Soprano's evil mum - was terrifying, less a battleaxe than a whole recreation of Braveheart. She was dead set on tapping the retro trend that's seen the return of widespread industrial unrest and people voting Tory, having churned out the same creepy 'smiley' cakes and forlorn gingerbread mutants for 36 depressing years.

"It's like going back to the 1970s," she crowed of her drab and dingy shop. And who wouldn't want that?

But a flaw in the plan emerged when Angela admitted that some of her regular customers had died in the past few decades and not been back since. So resistant was she to Mary's ideas also championed by her talented but demoralised baker, Paul you wondered why Angela applied to be on the show.

It was bizarre - and rather sad - watching the deluded Angela howling into the abyss. But she squandered any sympathy with her snide comments suggesting Portas, and everyone else, didn't know what they were talking about.

In fact, aside from running a bakery that doubled as a time capsule, her most remarkable achievement was making the raptor-like Portas appear fluffy and rather vulnerable.

If all our indie bakers had Angela's charm and acumen, there'd be none left on the high street at all.

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