CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: It’s kicking off in the kitchen as a Bond girl tackles a football legend
Bake Off: The Professionals
Good on you, Kalvin, my son. After England’s surging start in Euro 2020, any baby boys born this week are liable to be named in celebration of the young squad.
As well as Kalvin-with-a-K, after midfielder Kalvin Phillips, there will be any number of Kanes, Rashfords, Sterlings and Fodens. Our stars’ surnames (apart from the unfortunate Tyrone Mings) seem perfectly suited for cheeky little boys.
The problem is, even the greatest players grow old and wind up as telly pundits — a source of embarrassment for one of the patisserie chefs in Bake Off: The Professionals (C4).
His name is Lineker. ‘I’m named after Gary,’ he told host Tom Allen guiltily. ‘My dad was a big fan.’ In fairness to Dad, Gary used to be famous for his goal-poaching, not his holier-than-thou socialism with a side order of millionaire smuggery.
It’s up to Tom to whisk up the gags, like peaks of meringue. When judge Benoit Blin loudly announced ‘tiramisu’ the presenter shot back ‘Bless you!’ (Liam, Benoit, Tom and Cherish pictured)
Women’s football isn’t yet so popular that many baby girls are in danger of being named after the England ladies. Instead, one of Lineker’s rivals was called Domino, after a Bond girl. French actress Claudine Auger played Domino in the 1965 movie Thunderball.
It’s a puzzler because her baking namesake looked 30 years too young to have any connection to the film. Still, as Bond girls go, it could be worse — imagine being called Pussy Galore.
Tom Allen looked like he had other titles in mind. It can’t have slipped his notice that two of the judges on sister show The Great British Bake Off have been ennobled by the Queen.
With guest stars Diane Morgan and Morgana Robinson, the GCHQ sitcom Intelligence (Sky One) starring David Schwimmer from Friends ought to be a delight. But it is ruined by a weak script.
In last week’s birthday honours, judge Prue Leith was made a Dame of the British Empire — joining her predecessor, Dame Mary Berry. It can only be a matter of time before the deliriously camp comedian becomes Dame Tom. He’ll deserve it, because his frantic energy keeps this show bustling whenever it threatens to become too serious.
It’s up to Tom to whisk up the gags, like peaks of meringue. When judge Benoit Blin loudly announced ‘tiramisu’ the presenter shot back ‘Bless you!’.
There’s nothing light-hearted about the sadism of the producers. As if it wasn’t tough enough that teams has to produce chocolate confections in a broiling studio, the freezers keep malfunctioning.
The judges usually dig into the desserts unaided. But they asked chefs Sarah and Cristina to cut open their melt-in-the-mouth apple mousses, knowing they had already melted.
A warm gloop oozed out, and Sarah burst into tears. It looked suspiciously like sabotage. Perhaps there’s a Bond villain behind the scenes.
The villains were in full view on Hospital (BBC2), as NHS accountants brushed aside a surgeon’s plea for state-of-the-art robotic equipment to use in cancer ops.
This robot cost £140,000 a year to rent. The consultant pleaded that this was money well spent — not only did it save lives but it also meant spending less later on chemotherapy treatment. His entreaties were ignored.
The villains were in full view on BBC2’s Hospital (a still from the show pictured), as NHS accountants brushed aside a surgeon’s plea for state-of-the-art robotic equipment to use in cancer ops
The robot was ‘making a loss,’ he was told. One executive at the Coventry hospital argued, in management-speak, that it was better to reduce waiting lists as quickly as possible rather than concentrate on giving individual patients the best care.
The episode also followed Anna, 25, who needed extensive plastic surgery after a horrific factory accident ripped off her scalp and one ear. With astonishing bravery, she insisted she was glad it happened to her and not somebody less able to cope.
Covid meant her surgery was endlessly delayed. It was a reminder that we need to get life back to normal right now.
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