The ever popular Celebrity MasterChef returns, with 20 familiar faces from the world of show business, music and sport all hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s champion, Angellica Bell, and take the 2018 title.
This week, in the first of the heats, the first batch of five celebrities undertake three tough culinary challenges in a bid to prove their cookery talent to judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace. Hoping to show they’ve got what it takes are actor Keith Allen, TV presenter Michelle Ackerley, former international rugby player and TV presenter Martin Bayfield, recording artist and model Josh Cuthbert and singer songwriter Carol Decker.
The first challenge for the five hopefuls is the Mystery Box; the infamous test of imagination and creativity. The contestants must use the ingredients in tonight’s box, which include pork mince, prawns, fennel, cabbage and pears, as well as a basic larder, to create one just dish. With nerves running high and just fifty minutes to create something from scratch, the celebrities must think on their feet to impress the judges.
The celebrities are then split into two groups to take on the challenge of cooking for the first time in a restaurant kitchen, preparing dishes for paying customers.
Josh and Carol head to Leicester Square Kitchen which showcases contemporary Mexican and Peruvian small plates, while Martin, Keith and Michelle are sent to Smith and Wollensky, an American inspired steak restaurant.
In the final test of culinary creativity, it’s back to the MasterChef kitchen, as the contestants are asked to prepare a two-course menu of their own design in just one hour. The celebrities work furiously in a last attempt to prove themselves to the judges, because at the end of this test one of them will be going home.
Celebrity MasterChef returns for its thirteenth series, with 20 familiar faces from the world of show business and music all hoping to take the 2018 title.
This week’s Celebrity MasterChef heats continue with the four remaining celebrities facing three more culinary challenges, as they battle for a place in the Semi-Finals.
Tonight’s first challenge is the new Pairs Challenge where the four celebrities are split into two teams of two. Each team is tasked with cooking the same dish. Both plates must be identical in both appearance and flavour, but there is a catch. In-between each pair there is a wall. The only way for the celebrities to successfully produce identical plates is by communicating with their team mate through the wall.
The celebrities are then sent out on their first mass catering challenge. Remaining in their teams they will have to make lunch for over 100 members of staff at the famous Tilbury Docks, the largest port on the River Thames.
With an array of ingredients including chicken breast, beef mince and pasta as well as a range of fruit and vegetables, the two teams must devise, prepare and serve the lunch, catering for various tastes, creating meat based, vegetarian and dessert dishes in volume. In the heat of the kitchen the celebrities will have to rely on teamwork skills as well as their culinary ones to triumph.
Then it’s back to MasterChef headquarters as the battle for a semi-final place reaches its climax. The four celebrities must now cook a faultless two course meal that will not only be judged by John and Gregg, but also by Celebrity MasterChef champions Emma Kennedy (2012) and Sophie Thompson (2014), and finalist Sam Nixon (2015), all former survivors of this tough challenge.
With their last chances to impress for a semi-final place, emotions in the kitchen are running high, and the pressure proves too much for some contestants. The celebrity judges deliver some frank and cutting responses to some of the dishes, but others fare much better.
Only the best two contestants can earn a semi-final place and come one step closer to winning the title of Celebrity MasterChef 2018. For those who don’t make the grade, the journey ends here.
The world’s most daring dating show is back! Helping sassy singletons avoid the pitfalls of fake online profiles and fancy filters by choosing their perfect partner based solely on the power of Naked Attraction. When we are entirely unfiltered what do people really find sexually attractive?
This series, it’s bigger and bolder than ever, with Anna Richardson on hand to guide the contestants through the game of choosing a partner naked -whittling six people down to one. Expect even more shocking and surprising events than ever before.
First in to the studio is 20-year-old virgin Josh, a Lettings Agent from Bristol who is hoping to find a fairy-tale Princess to pop his cherry. Will he find his happy ever after?
Next up are 24-year-olds Matt and Mary from Manchester, who have been a couple for four years. In a Naked Attraction first, they want to explore polyamory and find a third partner to join their relationship! But with two people doing the picking, will they ever be able to agree on who to date?
Saving Planet Earth: Fixing a Hole tells the largely forgotten story of the hole in the ozone layer - and how the nations of the world came together to fix it.
In the 1980s, the planet was in grave danger. Not from global warming, but from a giant hole in the ozone layer, caused by the industrial chemicals, CFCs. Against all odds, scientists and politicians successfully persuaded Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – two of the most unlikely eco-warriors in history – to take action. Without their positive response, the world would face a future in which we’d be forced to hide from daylight – unfiltered UV radiation would cause millions of cases of skin cancer.
The story begins in the 1920s with Thomas Midgley Jr, a brilliant chemist, who developed a group of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons – or CFCs - as non-toxic refrigerant gases that could be used to make safe refrigerators. Midgley had no idea these man-made compounds would ultimately threaten life on Earth. In fact, CFCs were such useful chemicals they were used in all kinds of products – air conditioners, aerosol sprays, solvents for cleaning circuit boards, even metered dose inhalers for asthmatics.
The British scientist James Lovelock describes his research, which revealed that CFCs were spreading around the planet. Mario Molina, recalls how, as a young chemist, he realized that CFCs could be destroying the ozone layer at a terrifying rate – work for which he later won the Nobel Prize. And Jonathan Shanklin shows us the historic ozone layer data from Antarctica that he published in 1985 – the first evidence of the enormous hole in the stratosphere.
Lee Thomas, the EPA Administrator at the time, describes the work that had to be done to convince the Ronald Reagan administration that CFCs presented a genuine threat. George Shultz, President Reagan’s Secretary of State, recalls how the President eventually agreed that even although the science completely confirmed, an international treaty to phase out the production of CFCs would be a sensible insurance policy. In September 1987, with America leading the way, more than 30 countries agreed to cut the use of CFCs and signed the Montreal Protocol - the world’s first global treaty to reduce pollution.
Two weeks later, scientists from NASA and NOAA presented findings showing that the ozone hole was indeed caused by CFCs. Susan Solomon, Bob Watson and Paul Newman describe the remarkable research flights into the ozone hole that that revealed the crucial chemistry.
In 1990, Margaret Thatcher urged the world’s nations to support the Montreal Protocol so that CFCs could be phased out completely and new ozone friendly technologies could be used in both the developed and developing nations. It worked. Today, the ozone hole is finally showing signs of recovery.
For the key characters in this remarkable story, the Montreal Protocol shows that it’s possible for the world to come together to prevent environmental destruction. We did it for the ozone hole; perhaps we can do it again for protection of the climate.
Britain may be small, but everywhere you turn there are places that are hidden from public view - their secrets locked away behind high walls and heavy gates.
No access has been allowed... until now.
In this new series of Hidden Britain by Drone, history and travel enthusiast, Sir Tony Robinson, uses the latest aerial filming technology to show us new aspects of our country in a completely different way.
Dispatching flying cameras of every shape and size, Tony opens up the far reaches of Britain. He soars above historic sites normally closed off to visitors, gets behind the doors of some of our biggest British brands, explores some top-secret military locations, and finds unexpected hidden treasures in pockets of our rolling countryside.
Join Tony and his drones in an aerial adventure of Hidden Britain.
In this episode Tony Robinson sends his drones to discover the largest cave complex in Britain, hidden beehives on top of Fortnum and Mason, and a ginormous recycling plant for aeroplanes.
Meet the “Crazy ladies” of Pontypridd, South Wales, the Tayub family’s most loyal and fun-loving staff. They say they'll do almost anything to attract the punters – from blowing up balloons to wearing bikinis! But one thing they're not crazy about is the haphazard delivery of huge amounts of stock, whether wanted or not. It’s badly affecting sales. The ladies want to control their own stock and three months into the job CEO Chris Edwards agrees it’s the biggest problem facing the company. It sets him on a collision course with owner Aziz who's buy it cheap and pile it high philosophy is, in Chris's view, a “business destroying” approach.
Aziz's chief bulk-buy dealmaker is Ram Mohan, who's proud of the dozens of truckloads of short-dated stock they acquire at knockdown prices, it’s what gets priority delivery to stores often ahead of the bread and butter items. We follow Ram to Turkey to bulk-buy a taste-a-likey cut price confectionery – this time a chocolate finger to rival Cadbury's famous milk fingers. At half the price he's convinced it'll be a winner.
As tensions grow, Chris in a bid to change the system mounts an audacious coup – giving the job of deciding what gets delivered to stores to a different staff member. He also tries to reform the chaotic warehouse delivery process. But it’s all thrown back in his face and, as the business starts to falter, there's blood on the carpet as Chris and his new team fall under Aziz's axe.
Episode Three – Kashmir
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 Yorkshire to meet families with connections to Kashmir in Northern Pakistan. Kashmiri food has little exposure in this country and Nisha wants to discover all she can about it.
She starts her exploration at the Café Regal where Pakistani families head for hearty Kashmiri breakfasts at the weekends. She loads up her plate with spiced omelette, chickpeas, curries and breads, but the most surprising dishes on the buffet bar are lambs livers and trotters. She meets Yazi here, an expert in Kashmiri food. She learns that lamb is a central part of Kashmir’s cuisine – the mountainous landscape makes it the perfect environment for rearing lamb and Kashmiris use it in a variety of delicious fragrant dishes.
One of Kashmir’s most famous lamb specialities is lamb masala, similar to Rogan Josh. It’s a hearty rich curry flavoured with the aromatic spices the region is renowned for. Shazia, a second generation British Kashmiri has agreed to share her family recipe with Nisha, but the family spice mix is a well-guarded secret passed down through generations – Shazia’s own mother won’t even disclose the full list of ingredients to her!
Nisha wants to understand how traditional food played a role in settling into this country for the first wave of immigrants from Kashmir. Many of these were men who arrived in the 1950s and 60s to work in the area’s textile mills. Eventually these men moved into other industries and set up their own businesses. One of these was Nafees Bakers and Sweets – a shop selling traditional Asian sweets set up by a Kashmiri mill worker. At one of their shops, Nisha meets Asif, the original owner’s son who takes her behind the scenes at the sweet factory to see how these sweet delicacies are made.
Back in Kashmir, they grow a wide range of produce and use a lot of fruit and veg in their cooking. To learn more about this side of Kashmiri cuisine, Nisha meets Mr. Aslam who runs a chain of restaurants serving Kashmiri dishes. The inspiration for the restaurant’s menu comes from his sister-in-law, Mrs. Sabir who taught Mr. Aslam how to cook. Nisha becomes her new student and learns how to turn okra, an underrated vegetable in this country, into a sensational Okra Curry.
For her final day in Yorkshire, Nisha meets up with Yazi again who is introducing the next generation of Yorkshire children to the flavours of Kashmir. Yazi runs workshops on Kashmiri food in primary schools and Nisha attends one of these at a school on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Today, Yazi is teaching the kids how to make a really easy recipe: Lamb Seekh Kebabs. Nisha helps Yazi make these traditional kebabs with the kids. It’s a great way to introduce them to the wonderful flavours of Kashmir and also to teach them about the culture of their Kashmiri neighbours. From not knowing that much about Pakistani food, Nisha has found a real enthusiasm for the rich, hearty, fragrant flavours that come from this remote corner of the Indian subcontinent.
Episode Four – Bangladesh
As part of the BBC’s Asian Season, 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 Greater Manchester to meet incredible home cooks from the Bangladeshi community. 8 out of 10 restaurants we refer to as Indian across the UK are actually owned by Bangladeshis, so Nisha starts her exploration into this cuisine in one of the many Bangladeshi run curry houses in this area. Most of the regular favourites served in curry houses, like chicken tikka masala and baltis, are dishes that were created in this country to suit a western palate and don’t even exist across the Indian subcontinent. At the Last Monsoon, restaurant owner Shahin is trying to change things and introduce more traditional Bangladeshi dishes to his customers. However, the most authentic Bangladeshi dish made in the kitchen is a well kept secret that isn’t even on the menu! Every night, when the customers go home, as in many curry houses across the country, the staff sit down to a home-style meal cooked in the kitchen, quite different from many of the dishes on the menu. Nisha is invited to see how this staff curry is made and sits down with the staff to enjoy it at the end of everyone’s shift.
In search of more authentic Bangladeshi dishes, Nisha goes to meet a group of enthusiastic women who’ve set up a stall in Hyde to promote their own Bangladeshi recipes. She tries some of their home-made snacks, many of which she’s never come across before. There she meets Liza, a passionate cook who invites her back to her house to try an authentic Bangladeshi fish curry.
Fish is the most important part of the Bangladeshi diet. Before they head to Liza’s house, Nisha takes her to her local Asian supermarket where there’s a huge range of frozen fish imported from Bangladesh. With 5,000 miles of inland river and waterways in Bangladesh, Bangladeshis are hugely dependent on fish for their livelihood and Liza feels quite an emotional attachment to the fish she grew up eating.
Liza takes Nisha back to her house to make a traditional curry with Rohu, one of Bangladesh’s most popular river fish. The curry is made with Bangladeshi spices and the most important flavouring is mustard seed. We use it in this country for meat but Bangladeshis love strong flavours with their fish. Once they’ve made the fish curry, Nisha sits down to enjoy it with Liza and her extended family – a really memorable moment.
Nisha has heard about a chef called Afruj working at a local cooking school in Oldham who is keen to make sure the next generation of curry chefs introduce some traditional Bangladeshi dishes onto the restaurant menus. Nisha takes part in one of his classes where they’re learning how to make a Bangladeshi dish classic called Beef Shatkora. This is a slow cooked curry made with a citrus fruit unique to Bangladesh called a shatkora. Nisha has never come across this fruit before and is excited to see how it enhances this rich meat dish.
As well as slow cooked curries, there are quick dishes that use Bangladeshi spices and flavours. Sarah is a second-generation working mum who likes to cook quick modern dishes, inspired by the flavours she grew up eating but with ingredients easy to find in your local supermarket. She makes Bangladeshi spiced fishcakes with Nisha, a really simple recipe using cod that she regularly makes for family and friends.
To end her time with the Bangladeshi community, Nisha is invited to attend a traditional wedding ceremony. Before the event itself some of the bride’s female relatives gather together to produce a stunning food centrepiece called a Shagorana – a marinated roast chicken dressed up to look like a real bird using carved vegetables! Nisha joins the women at home to help bring this crazy creation together.
On the day of the actual wedding, the Shagorana is paraded with pride by the bride’s Auntie and is given a brief moment of glory before members on both sides of the two families demolish the chicken and stuff it into each other’s mouths. It’s all a lot of fun and something Nisha has never experienced before. During her time with the Bangladeshi community, Nisha has been constantly surprised by what she’s learnt about their culture and food. She really hopes that some of the delicious home-style dishes she’s experienced will make it on to the restaurant menus so they can be enjoyed by everyone.
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, the ultimate matchmakers find three eligible bachelors for property fund Analyst Hudson. At the Royal Berkshire Shooting School, Hudson finds out what her dates are made of when they take turns to impress her with their clay pigeon shooting skills. At the end of the day one lucky suitor is invited to dine with Hudson at the romantic setting of Shakespeare’s Globe.
Meanwhile, matchmaker B has a tough decision to make when client Josh breaks all the rules and asks her out on a date.