Catch up TV review: Celebrity GBBO, The Trouble with Maggie Cole, The Windsors
Ivan Radford | On 15, Mar 2020
The Great Celebrity Bake Off – 2020 (All 4)
Channel 4 has got the Bake Off recipe down to a tea (and a slice of cake), and that includes its now annual celebrity specials for Stand Up 2 Cancer. This year’s run of famous tentscapades, though, is one of the best batches yet, with the mixture of ingredients flawlessly chosen: joining Sandi, Prue, Paul and Noel are Louis Theroux, Jenny Eclair, Russell Howard and Ovie Soko. It’s a tasty combination, from the Louis Theroux-style intro to Russell and Ovie’s unlikely bromance. Throw in naughty jokes aplenty from a shameless Jenny and Louis “bullying” Russell with taunts of his baking prowess and you have a laugh-filled hour that would work even without the baked treats. Those don’t disappoint either, with challenges including a giant biscuit, a millefeuille and a tough “chouxstopper” challenge.
The Trouble with Maggie Cole (ITV Hub)
Dawn French doesn’t hold back in this new ITV drama, which sees her play Maggie Cole, a historian and busybody in a small Cornish village. She loves nothing more than giving tours to nonplussed school children around the local fort, while dropping into every conversation the fact that she’ll be doing a BBC radio interview soon. When the interview does come, of course, things go awry, and Maggie finds herself facing the fallout – and the disapproval of most of the local residents. French is committed to being the self-centred nosey-parker and she makes Maggie more sympathetic than she might seem on paper, but the main question Episode 1 leaves you with is whether the supporting cast will get to earn their keep, with background players including everyone from Mark Heap to Julie Hesmondhalgh.
The Windsors: Season 3 (All 4)
Channel 4’s ridiculous royal comedy returns and it still has the same silly charm simply because it refuses to take any characters seriously whatsoever. Season 3 expands its targets to include Harry and Meghan as well as the rest of the clan. A brief cameo from Prince Andrew, portrayed as a loathsome slimeball, reminds us that this isn’t a satire or even a serious critique, but just an excuse to portray every member of the royal family as grotesquely and outrageously as possible. And so Meghan’s determination to clear the record on avocados is fair game, as is Harry’s attempts to stop drinking, while Camilla quietly plots to poison the Middletons. As ever, Hugh Skinner continues to quietly steal the show as Wills, but with Miriam Margolyes popping up as Queen Victoria, he’s not the only one bringing the LOLs.