It’s a rare occurrence these days for me to spend an evening with the box.
Aside from a few three-part dramas here and there which I set reminders for and inevitably miss, then download and invariably don’t watch, there’s little on TV that entices me.
So it came as something of a surprise this week when not one but two programmes caught my attention. For very different reasons.
It was a week of two halves for our beloved British Broadcasting Company. On one hand - or tray - was the final of Great British Bake Off. Once a favourite of members of the WI, now a favourite of, well, just about everyone, this season reached its dramatic conclusion as Rich, Luis and Nancy battled it out for the coveted title.
I haven’t been a dedicated follower of the bakers. Caught an odd programme here, heard a bit of office chatter there, but on a wet, windy Wednesday evening I thought, why not.
From a tough opening round of creating perfect sweet breakfast pastries to the almost impossible task of whipping up 12 scones, 12 lemon tarts and 12 Victoria sponges in two hours, I was quickly gripped. Honestly.
And that was before the pièce de résistance - the showstopper. A grand combination of sponge, choux pastry and petits four. Whether you like baking or not - and let’s face it, who doesn’t like cake? - few could deny this was great family viewing.
Which is more than can be said of the other BBC programme which hit the headlines this week.
EastEnders is often in the news, but it seemed to hit a new low when it featured a rape scene during it’s pre-watershed slot. ‘EastEnders is a programme that is supposed to be reflective of real life’ actress Kellie Bright argued. Perhaps, but does that issue of real life need to be shared with children, who no doubt will have been allowed to watch a programme broadcast at 8pm?
In these days of 24 hour technology, we can’t shelter them from much, but maybe we don’t have to make such acts explicit in one of the country’s most-watched programmes.
A thought shared by many, as 278 official complaints were made to the BBC, and a further 34 to the television regulator, Ofcom.
Let that be a lesson to the broadcaster. Let us eat cake. We don’t need the nasty side dishes.