Paul Hollywood’s Bread starts this evening on BBC2 and sees the real star of The Great British Bake Off take to the airwaves solo and sees TV’s love of food taken to another odd little corner of the culinary map.
From the massive success of The Great British Bake Off to ITV’s attempt to mirror the success in Food Glorious Food, cooking has once again taken over TV, although to tell the truth, it’s never really been off screen for that long.
This latest entrant into the pantheon of food TV sees Paul Hollywood unshackled from judging duty and fully able to let his passion of bread really take flight. That he can make the simple act of kneading dough and tossing around flour quite so masculine and watchable is a mark of what a fantastic find he was for last year’s baking bonanza.
While it’s great to see a master of the trade a work, especially one as engaging and camera friendly as Hollywood, who would have ever thought that we’d be seeing a six part series all about bread?
TV’s always had a love of making us salivate horribly over our screens. Not only can it be classed as factual programming, but it’s also relatively cheap to make. As long as your chef isn’t a primadonna demanding a ridiculous amount of money, then all you need is a single camera crew and you’re golden.
It also always makes for engaging TV. Even if you don’t like the chef, you’ll stay to see the tasty concoction they make. It’s nearly impossible to make great tasting food look bad, so even the most ham fisted of camera men can be used to shoot it.
It’s also easy to find a unique hook. Is it just desserts you’ll be doing? Or quick meals for everyday? Or will be working exclusively with turnips and couscous? If you’re watching Heston Blumenthal, you’ll be as fixed to the screens as we are wondering what utterly bonkers combination’s he’ll make next. Or whether he’s actually entirely made out of asparagus flavoured ice-cream and just needs to be chilled all the time.
The real question is where will this food love go next? We hope it’s some sort of ‘Extreme Smoothies’ type of reality show, but we can dare to dream.
Paul Hollywood’s Bread starts tonight on BBC2
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