I’ve slowly warmed to the Hairy Bikers. Originally, I dismissed them as a poor replacement for the formidable Two Fat Ladies (RIP) but, over the years, the Two Fat Geordies have just about won me round, so I wasn’t unhappy to see them on Food & Drink (BBC 2, 7pm, 23 September), hosted by the incredible shrinking chef, Tom Kerridge.
As the show starts at 7pm, the slimmed-down but smug-free Kerridge is duty bound to offer everyone an alternative to another stupefying episode of The One Show and inspire Great Britain into the kitchen to cook up a storm.
And as the cold nights draw in, “tasty home cooking” is the order of the day. The fellas served up a speedy sausage and bean casserole. This was an obvious low point. Anyone serving borlotti beans with sausages instead of mash should be locked up forever. Fortunately, Dave Hairy quickly played peacemaker by blending up some homemade Cholula sauce, which made everything better.
From sausages to splendour, the show zipped Arabella Weir up to London to the recherché surroundings of the Dorchester, where they make 3,000 sandwiches for impossibly rich people every day. Tea and a few sarnies costs £45 a head. They looked delicious. Sturgeon with black and gold caviar sandwiches for lunch, anyone?
And from speedy to slow, back in the studio the show continued its winter theme by exploring the resurgence in slow cookers, producing a comforting casserole, delivering a satisfying end to an enjoyable show.