Do we need quite so many TV dinners?

Just browsing the choices for an evening of viewing tonight – a choice of four foodie programmes to choose from. Four on one night – has the country really become obsessed with cooking?

In many ways that would be no bad thing; Britain, a nation of food lovers raising expectations, standards and diets.

This evening, we’ve got the high-end cuisine of Great British Menu (BBC2, 6.30pm), the exotic in the form of the Hairy Bikers in Namibia (BBC2 9.45pm) and the basic in yawn of Nigella making easy breakfast dishes (BBC2, 8.30pm). (Pleeeease, no more egg boiling surely).

Then on the other side, MPW returns with a celebrity Hell’s Kitchen (ITV1, 9pm).

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty avid fan of such shows but isn’t this a bit of overkill? Barely leaves enough time to actually cook or eat anything!

One food genre show it’s hard to miss though is Come Dine With Me. Last night’s trip around Blackpool with such unlikely dinner dates as a B&B landlady (serving lager in cans is just sooo classy, don’t you think!), a drag queen, a restaurant manager and a chips-n-egg type bloke with a capital B was sure to make good TV.

But oddly enough it’s not just the clashing  egos and the regular moments of cringeworthy pretentiousness which make the programme such compulsive viewing.

It’s also proving to be one of the most useable of the shows for realistic cooking with all the dishes being created in people’s ordinary kitchens with normal equipment and ingredients showing how non-professionals often achieve some stunning results.

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