Catch Up TV review: Celebrity Great British Bake Off, Derry Girls S2
James R | On 10, Mar 2019
Celebrity Great British Bake Off (All 4)
Just when you think you might one day get bored of Bake Off, Channel 4’s iteration of the baking contest delivers possibly its best celebrity mix yet, as the Stand Up to Cancer specials return for another run. Lighter and fluffier than the normal GBBO, the format isn’t afraid to let its contestants take things as non-seriously as possible, and Russell Brand doesn’t hesitate to oblige. Jon Richardson, meanwhile, provides the perfect balance of sarcastic commentary and neurotically precise technique. In between, meanwhile, John Lithgow is simply adorable, failing to make a Swiss roll, assembling a lumpy Winston Churchill and all the while just being enthusiastically grateful to be allowed to take part. Decidedly more-ish.
Derry Girls Season 2 (All 4)
With its hysterical dialogue, instantly fully formed characters and bracing ability to turn its context (The Troubles in the 1990s) into surtext with wit and heart, Derry Girls was one of the best TV shows of 2018. What a pleasure it is to see if back again for a second season, and Lisa McGee’s show remains as hilarious as ever. We pick things up as Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and co are taken away for a bonding weekend with a group of Protestants, all in the name of peace. The result is an excruciatingly sharp classroom exercise (overseen by a gloriously preening priest) in which the two groups of pupils struggle to name things they have in common but don’t hesitate to declare their differences. (“Protestants hate ABBA” is the line of the year to beat in any TV programme.) By the time we’re at the abseiling climax, the comedy of misunderstandings, both wilful and accidental, has escalated to inspired farce. Someone commission Season 3 immediately.