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WEEK 33

**NEW** Recipes That Made Me

Episodes one & two to play out consecutively.

Episode One - Punjab

This series sees restaurateur Nisha Katona travel around the UK meeting passionate home cooks to discover family recipes passed down through generations from across the Indian Subcontinent. 

In this episode, Nisha travels to the West Midlands, which has the largest population of Punjabis living in the UK, to discover all she can about Punjabi food from the North of India. 

Punjabi cuisine is famous for its rich dishes and she wants to understand more about the ingredients, cooking techniques and culture that has given this cuisine its unique characteristics. 

Nisha starts her exploration at a Sikh temple in Birmingham where food plays an integral role in everyday temple life. Each day in Sikh temples there is a custom known as langar where they serve vegetarian meals that anyone can come and eat. Here she meets a group of women skilled at making perfect chapatis – the main staple of Punjabi cuisine which is known as the Bread Basket of India.  

Next, Nisha visits a Punjabi martial arts class known as Shastar Vidiya. Here she discovers the connection between the ancient warrior culture of Punjab and their high calorie food.  She meets Rav there, a keen Punjabi cook who shows her how to make a deliciously rich goat curry. This is  food to make you ‘tharkara,’ a Punjabi word that refers to physical might and strength.  

Most Punjabi immigrants came to the UK from rural Punjab in the 1940s and 50s to work in the foundries of Wolverhampton and Birmingham.  Food helped the transition from rural Punjab to the industrial heartland of Britain and Nisha wants to understand more about the role it played. She meets Sathnam Sanghera, author of a book about his childhood, growing up in a traditional Sikh family in Wolverhampton.  He tells Nisha about his mum’s dedication to Punjabi food which she cooked daily for all the family and the integral role it played in his upbringing. He takes her to the home he grew up in and shows her the back garden where his mother grew many of the produce farmed in Punjab. Growing up, there were no fences and many of the Punjabi immigrant families created mini allotments at the back of their homes to ensure they could get the fresh ingredients needed to make their delicious food. 

Spinach is a central part of Punjabi cuisine and Spinach Paneer is one of Punjab’s best-loved dishes. It’s easy to make and much more exciting than the way we traditionally serve spinach in the UK.  Baksho Ark is a Mother and Grandmother, who shares her recipe for Spinach Paneer with Nisha. It’s a dish much loved by all her family and is really quick to prepare.  

To end her time in the West Midlands, Nisha visits a popular Punjabi restaurant in Wolverhampton where they’re preparing for a first birthday party.  First birthdays are a big celebration in Punjabi culture and food is always at the heart of them.  Nisha is back stage in the kitchen helping with the preparations and seeing how they make classic tandoori chicken tikka the authentic Punjabi way.  The chicken is grilled in a tandoor oven – synonymous with Punjab where villagers would traditionally take their bread and meats to cook them in communal clay tandoor ovens. 

Nisha finishes her time with the community on a high – joining in the first birthday party celebrations in style, tucking in to some delicious tandoori chicken tikka and marvelling at the generosity associated with Punjabi food and culture.

Episode Two - Sri Lanka 

This series sees restaurateur Nisha Katona travel around the UK meeting passionate home cooks to discover family recipes passed down through generations from across the Indian Subcontinent. 

In this episode, Nisha is in London to discover more about food from the tropical island of Sri Lanka.  The cuisine is rising in popularity, especially in the capital city. 

She starts her exploration in an unlikely setting: a lakeside café in London’s Victoria Park.  Here there’s a group of Sri Lankan guys cooking in the kitchen who have started introducing their authentic recipes from home.  They serve incredible Sri Lankan breakfasts with a kind of noodle called a string hopper that’s right at the heart of their cuisine.  In the kitchen, Nisha meets Thivian who shows her how they make these unique string hoppers, as well as rustling up one of their legendary coconut rotis (a kind of flatbread) for her to try. 

Keen to explore how Sri Lankans use the wide variety of vegetables that grow on the island, Nisha heads to a Sri Lankan grocers to meet food blogger Shakya and her mum Dalsi.  They talk to her about some of the unusual ingredients they like to use in their cooking including pandan leaves, which add flavour to their curries, and gotu kola, a green leafy plant a bit like flat leaf parsley.  Dalsi teaches Nisha how to make a classic Sri Lankan dish called Devilled Prawns – known for its fiery flavours, whilst daughter Shakya shows her how gotu kola can be used in a fresh Sri Lankan accompaniment called a sambol. 

The growing interest in Sri Lankan food means that it’s starting to be found in street markets in London and is proving very popular.  Nisha visits the world food market in St. Katharine’s Dock to try a much-loved Sri Lankan street food dish called Kothu Roti.  This unique dish that seems to have everything thrown at it - veg, eggs and a meat or fish curry – all chopped up on a hot plate and served to hungry customers. 

British Sri Lankan newsreader, George Alagiah invites Nisha to a Sri Lankan lunch at his family home.  His family continue to cook the recipes passed down by his Sri Lankan mother, many of which they’ve written down.  Nisha joins George, his sister Mari and his wife Fran in the kitchen to learn some of their family recipes.  Together they make George’s mother’s recipe for Roasted Curry Powder, the basis of Sri Lankan meat curries, which they turn into a delicious Chicken and Coconut Curry.  George’s wife Fran, who had no family connection to Sri Lanka until she married George, tells Nisha how her mother in law made sure she knew how to make Sri Lankan dishes for her husband to be!  She shares a classic Coconut and Cabbage side dish with Nisha, taught to her by her mother-in-law.

Nisha ends her time learning about Sri Lankan food at a Tamil harvest festival, known as Thai Pongal.  Here she meets Vithya and her mum who are keeping the traditions of Sri Lanka alive right in the centre of London.  There is some beautiful folk dancing, bonfires and a delicious traditional rice pudding dish cooked on an open fire at the heart of this ceremony.  For Nisha, it sums up the respect Sri Lankans have for their food – they know how to make the most of the ingredients that grow in abundance on the island – and can turn them into simple sensational dishes.  This is definitely a cuisine worth learning about and cooking at home!​

**NEW** The Ultimate Matchmaker

Welcome to one of Britain’s most exclusive dating agencies. From their HQ in south-west London, Lara Asprey and her team of expert matchmakers spend their days finding London’s elite their perfect match. On the face of it, their successful clients have it all, apart from the most important thing, someone to share their lives with.

In this episode, Lara’s team of cupids find marketing executive, Josh, three potential matches. In an upmarket London Spa, sparks fly over champagne and massages and Josh chooses one of the three ladies to accompany him on a romantic date to Hever Castle in the idyllic Kent countryside. However, Josh throws Lara a curve ball when his head is turned by one of the agency’s matchmakers, but will the object of Josh’s affections choose to mix business with pleasure?

Travels in Trumpland with Ed Balls

Episode Three: Making America Wealthy Again?

Tapping into the US’ deep-rooted belief in the American dream, billionaire businessman Trump promised to make all Americans wealthy again, but is he just helping the rich get richer?

Ed’s first stop is literally Donald Trump’s backyard, his very own private members club, Mar-a-Largo in Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump can be found playing golf most weekends. 

Hosted by millionairess Toni, a close friend of the President's and founder of female Trump fan club, The Trumpettes, Ed is put to work helping prepare for the Trumpette Ball, a huge, extravagant party Toni’s throwing at Mar-a-Largo, in her old friend's honour.

But Trump’s one-year anniversary as leader of the free world sparks protests outside Mar-a-Largo and Ed is left with a sour taste in his mouth at the party, after a divisive speech by Fox News Star, Judge Jeanine Pirro.

To find out if ordinary working-class Americans believe that Trump is helping them get richer, Ed travels to Dalton, Georgia, the former carpet capital of the world. Here he meets factory mill workers Rik and Brodie, and tries his hand at Hick Hopping, a form of country rap music about the struggle in the Deep South, much to his new friends' amusement.

Money and religion are two sides of the same coin in America, so Ed travels to Easley, South Carolina to meet controversial Pastor Mark Burns, who spoke at Trump’s rallies during the election campaign, and preaches to millions that you can pray your way to success. 

Fresh from defending the President over his famous “sh*thole” comments, the Pastor takes Ed to a Tea Party Convention, where Ed is thrust on stage and finds himself summarising his travels in Trumpland to the unlikeliest of audiences. 


  • Sunday 12th August, 9pm

  • BBC Two

  • 3 of 3

  • lou@plankpr.com

Tower Block Kids

With 4,000 tower blocks dominating the UK’s skylines, this documentary looks at the lives of kids from four families who show us what life’s like growing up in the sky.

In the North, Kyle is the only son in his family of six. Surrounded by younger sisters, he struggles to share his passion for airplanes at home. The aspiring RAF pilot luckily has his cousins Harley and Kyron living just down the corridor in the same block, so he does have a chance for some male bonding. They are part of an extended family on the same estate, spanning three generations and a total of 22 people!

Both families have lived on the estate since childhood. Whether it’s sharing toys or going for sleepovers at their Nanna Christine’s, who also lives on the estate, they make the whole tower block estate their playground.

In London, nine-year-old Guiliarose shares a two bedroom flat with her Italian mum Sara. Guiliarose was born in rural Italy and it’s a connection that both mother and daughter want to maintain while Guiliarose is growing up in an inner-city tower block. With just a balcony as her only personal outdoor space, and anti-social behaviour and rough sleepers making the local area far from child friendly, Guiliarose is looking forward to a month-long escape, spending the summer with her grandparents back in Italy.

Six-year-old Cinar grew up in Turkey, but a year ago he moved to England with his mum Carla and baby sister Ella. Life in a tower block may mean he’s closer to his British grandparents, but for Cinar it’s boring after a life by the beach in Turkey. As a single parent, Mum Carla wants the best for Cinar, and while the tower block may not be ideal, life back in England is giving Cinar a chance to try new things.

With a totally different outlook on life, this documentary reveals what it’s like growing up as tower block kids


  • Monday 13th August

  • W

  • 2 of 2

  • kay@plankpr.com

Inventing The Impossible: Big Life Fix

In this episode the fixers take on three more challenges to change lives, including one of their toughest yet when they try to help a young boy with Tourette’s to control his ticks and behavioural issues.

11-year-old Malachi lives with his Mum and younger brother in Cornwall. Malachi has Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological condition characterised by involuntary movements and noises called tics. He also has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and struggles with disruptive urges and violent outbursts. At school, he needs three support workers with him at all times. As Malachi gets older his behaviour is increasingly difficult for mum, Marie, to manage and she’s increasingly worried that if he doesn’t find a way to control himself, he will end up in serious trouble. Electronics engineer, Ryan White, teams up with Zoe Laughlin, an expert in materials, to explore what they can do. But their first encounter with Malachi leaves them concerned that they may have taken on more than they can manage. Knowing more about the condition could help them work out what to do, so their next stop is Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to meet one of the world’s leading experts in the field, Dr Tara Murphy.

Nightmare Tentants, Slum Landlords

With house prices soaring and the rental market over-heating, this series delves into the dark side of the UK's housing crisis, following victims and villains on both sides of the buy-to-the let battlefield. Eviction experts help frantic landlords as they attempt to wrestle back their properties from bad tenants who won’t pay and won’t leave; and housing teams up and down the country try to protect vulnerable tenants who are living in squalor, at the mercy of rogue landlords.

This week on Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords, a couple from Kent face losing their home as they are pushed to the limit by their difficult tenant.  Rachel and Chris had a great relationship with their tenant, until one day she stopped paying the rent. Over £5000 out of pocket Rachel is struggling to pay her mortgage, and needs to get her tenant out fast.

Karla’s tenants got into financial difficulties so she reduced their rent to help them out. But the rent then stopped altogether. She is owed over £9,000 in unpaid rent and is facing financial ruin, so she is desperate to evict her tenants.

And, in Northamptonshire young mum Hamdi Abdulkadir let a couple stay in her home for free, as the wife was pregnant and the family had nowhere else to live. However, months after they had the baby they are showing showed no signs of moving out. When Hamdi repeatedly asked them to leave, she found herself locked out of her own home. Relying on friends and relatives for a roof over her head Hamdi, who has a three-month-old baby herself, is penniless and becoming increasingly desperate to get her home back.


  • Thursday 16th August, 8pm

  • Channel 5

  • 15 of 16

  • kay@plankpr,com

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