Jools Holland and Jamie’s Five Ingredient Meals: TV highlights this week
Later… with Jools Holland (Saturday 14/10/23, BBC2, 10.30pm)
Words by Rob Lavender
Former Squeeze pianist and bandleader Jools Holland returns, with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, to Alexandra Palace Theatre in North London for a brand new series.
Later… has been going strong since 1992, with almost 400 episodes recorded across a whopping 62 series. It’s a stalwart of the BBC Two schedules, and audiences from around the world (it’s broadcast everywhere from the US and Latin America to Australia, Croatia, Spain and Ireland) all trust Jools to bring them the best in emerging talent and established artists.
For many people, Holland is synonymous with the New Year thanks to his annual Hootenanny, so it seems fitting that Manchester indie-rap upstart Antony Szmierek chooses Jools’ show to perform his latest single called The Words to Auld Lang Syne – but don’t worry, Christmas didn’t come early and you haven’t missed it.
The song is a spoken-word ode to the pressures surrounding certain dates, and the arbitrary nature of feeling you must confirm to them in a specific way. It’s also set to some absolutely kicking house beats, proving the concept inherent in the title of Szmierek’s EP, Poems to Dance To.
Meanwhile, US folk-rock workhorses The National (frequent collaborators with Taylor Swift, no less) are likely to be one of the biggest draws to this opening show. The Cincinnati indie quintet built up a huge following of their own before collaborating with Folklore/Evermore-era Swift ensured a whole new audience for their brand of sombre, literate college rock.
The National, making their first appearance on Later… since 2017, will be playing brand new songs from their recently announced tenth LP, Laugh Track. The album is a companion to its predecessor First Two Pages of Frankenstein, making it their second album to be released this year (such a Taylor move…).
Before all that, though, West Midlands singer Jorja Smith showcases the powerhouse vocals that have seen her shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, while Brooklyn based ‘discodelica’ three-piece Say She She, who met in the downtown dancefloors of New York City’s Lower East Side, perform tracks from their second album, Silver.
Say She She and Szmierek are both making their Later… debuts here – as is cult singer and punk legend Wreckless Eric.
While the former two acts are relatively new to the music scene, Eric (real name Eric Goulden) has been around for some 50 years. He’s perhaps still best known for his 1977 single Whole Wide World. He’ll be chatting to Jools, perhaps reminiscing about the time the pair shared a bill back in 1980, and performing a track from his latest album Leisureland – his 19th such studio release.
It’s a tempting opener to Jools’ 63rd series, then, proving the Later… format is still going strong. Also featuring in subsequent episodes this run are BC Camplight, Cat Power, Corinne Bailey Rae, OMD and The Streets, AKA Mike Skinner – who might be watching Szmierek’s performances this evening with interest, as the Mancunian’s style clearly owes much to Skinner’s groundbreaking blend of spoken word and English nightlife-inspired rap.
The Ex-Wife (Sunday 15/10/23, Channel 5, 9pm)
Words by Sarah Morgan
She was born in Belgium but raised in England, she’s been described as the next big thing in the acting world, and yet she’s been performing professionally for 12 years – and now she’s taking a leading role in Channel 5’s latest tense drama.
Who is ‘she’? Celine Buckens, of course. The 27-year-old was chosen as a teenager by Steven Spielberg to play Emilie in War Horse. She then spent seven years out of work, so went off to study history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. However, while there, she landed a role in the Netflix series Free Rein and has rarely been out of work since.
She also featured in an episode of Endeavour and two short films before popping up in the film The Good Liar (alongside Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren), the second series of Warrior and an episode of Bridgerton before the role that really made people sit up and take notice came along – that of Talitha Campbell in Showtrial, for which she received Bafta and Emmy nominations.
Dubbed a ‘toxic toff’ after being arrested on suspicion of murdering her university classmate, Talitha was a character viewers loved to hate.
Buckens didn’t mind one bit, commenting to the Sunday Times that, “I like the fact that she’s flawed. I like the fact that we’ve got to a stage where the female characters that we have on screen don’t just have to be these strong, really likeable characters.
“They can be complex and real, and that means warts and all.”
There’s another woman who’s set to drive viewers round the bend in Buckens’ latest series, The Ex-Wife, but she isn’t playing her. Instead, she tackles the role of Tasha, who on paper appears to have the perfect life – she’s happily married to an older man, Jack (Tom Mison), with whom she has a young daughter, Emily.
They have an affluent lifestyle, but the one fly in the ointment is Jack’s first wife, Jen (Janet Montgomery). He met Tasha while they were on a break, and it seems that Jen isn’t ready to give up on their relationship, despite the fact he appears to have moved on. But is Jen really the villain she appears to be, or is someone else determined to wreck Tasha and Jack’s family unit?
If the plot sounds familiar, maybe you’ve read Jess Ryder’s book of the same name, or saw the programme when it was made available to stream via Paramount+ last year. It was also reviewed by the Goggleboxers at the time.
The makers of the four-part series snapped up Buckens after Showtrial, offering her the role without an audition.
She told Tatler: “It was the first time that’s ever happened, which is a very, very nice feeling. It’s a similar genre to Showtrial, but the character is so different.
“She’s a very young mother by today’s standards – quite unconventionally young. I was very attracted to playing a character who is emancipated and strong, but who chooses quite a conventional lifestyle. That’s unusual.”
Buckens clearly enjoyed working for Paramount+ because her next project is for them too – a thriller entitled The Castaways. Will she be a villain or a victim this time? We’ll have to wait and see…
Jamie’s Five Ingredient Meals (Monday 16/10/23, Channel 4, 8pm)
Words by Richard Jones
Back in 2017, Jamie Oliver released his 20th book, 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food.
Containing a collection of 130 great, simple-to-knock-out recipes made from only five elements, it was billed as his ‘most straightforward’ book yet and proved to be every rushed metropolitan’s dream.
It also shifted millions of copies, rivalling the sales of his other smash-hit publications 30 Minute Meals and 15 Minute Meals.
In an interview with Vogue, he explained what he thought made 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food appealing.
“Five is the magic number, he said. “When I tried recipes with three or four ingredients, they were incredibly easy. But, the payoff for that was that they just didn’t deliver the hit of flavour and texture I was after.
“Five ingredients allows a balance of simple and delicious.
“For me, anything that makes you stress less is a bonus. By limiting the amount of ingredients to five, it’s fewer components for you to think about, and so it makes the process of getting food on the table easier.
“If you’re able to cook and have a repertoire of recipes that can be put together depending on how long you’ve got, you’re going to be in a good place.”
And is usually the case with Jamie’s publications, and most cookbooks for that matter, a TV series inevitably followed in which the chef demonstrated how to make the recipes on camera.
Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food ran on Channel 4 for four series between 2017-2020, and there was a Christmas special in 2018.
Tonight, the 48-year-old chef is back with a slightly different programme, as he helps us say goodbye to long shopping lists and hello to all-new easy, clever recipes that use just five hero ingredients to deliver maximum flavour.
New, four-part series Jamie’s Five Ingredient Meals will be packed with tips, tricks and swaps to make cooking easier, quicker and more affordable.
And with the ingredients easily sourced from the supermarket, Jamie is hoping to deliver a fresh set of hassle-free dishes that will surprise and delight family and friends without busting the budget.
In this first edition, he demonstrates two delicious dishes that are ideal for when you need to get food and flavour on the table – fast.
After showing us a genius way to cook chicken for the crispiest skin ever, he bakes a deliciously simple pie with the easiest dough ever.
In addition, there’s also a treat from the ‘Godfather of Spanish Cuisine’, José Pizarro, who runs tapas and sherry bar José and restaurant Pizarro as well as a restaurant in London, The Swan in Surrey, and two eateries at The Royal Academy of Arts.
He shares some gorgeous Mediterranean flavours, again using just five everyday ingredients.
If you’re planning on cooking along with Jamie tonight, he has a short list of essentials to start off with, in addition to the five ingredients on the recipes.
“Olive oil for cooking, extra virgin olive oil for finishing, red wine vinegar as a good all-rounder, and, of course, sea salt and black pepper for seasoning,” he says.
When this four-part series had concluded, it won’t be long before Jamie is back on Channel 4 with two brand-new programmes – Jamie Cooks The Mediterranean and Jamie’s Seasons.
But for now, five is clearly still the magic number for the man who remains one the nation’s most popular writers and chefs.
Bangers: Mad for Cars (Tuesday 17/10/23, Channel 4, 10.15pm)
Words by Scheenagh Harrington
Back in March, filming was halted on the latest series of long-running, hugely popular BBC car show Top Gear. It’s taken just over six months for any potential successors to its crown as the UK’s best motoring series to emerge, but this could well be a contender.
Over the course of four hour-long episodes, rapper Tinie and F1 analyst and stunt driver Naomi Schiff take a deep dive into different categories of cars: sports, 4x4s and family vehicles.
But they kick things off in fine style with a look at the hatchback comeback kids. Motors like the Ford Sierra Cosworth, Peugeot 205 GTI, and the Citroen Saxo were all part of the landscape many moons ago, and are now enjoying a renaissance. Who would have thought a few decades ago, the school run motor would become a hipster’s dream, fetching tens of thousands of pounds at auction.
Tinie and Naomi have christened them ‘bangers’, and will put them head-to-head to decide which is the best in class. With the help of car lovers all over the UK, they will delve into the performance, history, culture and iconography of each car, before the final challenge to decide which comes out on top.
Now a motorsport broadcaster who has raced karts, prototypes, GTs and Formulas, Schiff knows her stuff. Tinie, meanwhile, has been obsessed with cars since he bought his first at 17, a Vauxhall Corsa which he ‘modded’ to within an inch of its life. He’s also an avid F1 fan and has followed the tour around the globe.
Naomi gets first pick of the vehicles, and each week, Tinie has to select one to go against her. He’ll be meeting some of the most passionate, audacious car owners in the UK, who will be convincing him to choose their model to champion. To see the cars in action, he’ll be flying down quarry slopes in a 4×4, attempting to squeeze a six-wheel Defender through the streets of Chelsea, and battling to save the reputation of the Renault Espace.
In every episode, Tinie will also meet a celebrity to hear about their life in cars, from their first motor to the model they wish they’d had.
Taking part in this first series are Ian Wright, Guz Khan, Patrice Evra and Tom Kerridge, who will be surprised with some motors they had forgotten and a few old photos they wish had been consigned to history.
Speaking about the series, Tinie says: “Cars are so embedded in pop culture, they’re more than just a mode of transportation, they say a bit about who we are.
“I’m excited to explore the origins of some of the most iconic cars and learn how the industry became so interlinked with the British psyche and, of course, to drive some serious bangers.”
Naomi is equally enthusiastic. She adds: “Having raced from the age of 11, I’ve almost always had my eye on cars, so I can’t wait to dive deeper into what made these cars so iconic.
“It will be fascinating to take a look at these modern classics. I am also competitive to the core, a fact Tinie knows to expect.”
Payback (Wednesday 18/10/23, ITV, 9pm)
Words by Scheenagh Harrington
If there’s one word that sums up this outstanding drama, it’s quality. It oozes the stuff, whether it’s the sublime cast, headed by Morven Christie, or the fact it has Jed ‘Line of Duty’ Mecurio’s dabs all over it as executive producer.
As we reach the halfway mark, the nation will be on the edge of its seats waiting to discover Lexie’s fate. After being roped in by the police to infiltrate Cal’s business empire, she is now playing a dangerous game to keep her children safe. However, a secret from her past could jeopardise her future.
For series writer Debbie O’Malley, it is the culmination of a project that began with an unsolved true crime.
“There was a Scottish banker about 18 years ago who was at home with his family for the evening,” she says. “His wife was upstairs bathing the kids and he answered the door to a courier and was shot dead on his doorstep. It’s quite a well-known story and they’ve never solved it.
“The key element that stayed with me was the thought of the wife who was upstairs, wrapping her kids in towels or whatever, and between being at the top of those stairs and walking down and finding her entire life changed.”
Debbie also revealed another element was provided by Jed, who had been looking for a joint project for some time.
“He wanted to explore the idea of a woman drawn into the world of organised crime and I’d been thinking about doing something involving lawyers,” she explains. “Jed had the idea of accountants and then the Panama Papers leak happened.
Suddenly everyone was very aware of just how much illegal cash was washing through the system and of the fact that these shady offshore companies were owning large amounts of UK property and it was very hard to track who owned what. Those elements all came together and that was the way into Payback.”
When asked if the characters in the show are based on real people, Debbie replies: “I wouldn’t say that any of them are directly based on specific people.
“I did an enormous amount of research into organised crime and into the major players – particularly in the UK in terms of big crime families and the heads of those families who have managed to evade prosecution for long periods of time.”
As for Cal, she adds: “That type of personality is something I became very interested in because they tended to be guys who didn’t just inspire fear.
“They had track records of committing acts of sickening and brutal violence but they also inspired loyalty and people wanted to be their friends. There was a charisma and a charm about them that was very dangerous but also very seductive.”
Casting Peter Mullan as Cal was a dream, as she reveals: “The desire was always that he wouldn’t be a 2D bad guy. There are lots of complicated elements to him.
“Peter can do so much with the raising of an eyebrow, and for such an incredibly warm, energetic and enthusiastic human being he has the ability to chill your blood with a single look. His performance is amazing.”
Pride Of Britain: A Windrush Special (Thursday 19/10/23, ITV1, 9pm)
Words by Scheenagh Harrington
At the recent Conservative Party conference, Home Secretary Suella Braverman claimed a “hurricane of mass migration” was heading for the UK.
Supporters agreed with her stark assessment, while critics likened her comments to Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘rivers of blood’ speech.
Immigration has always been a thorny subject, even when nations have struggled with acute labour shortages and cried out for people to come to their shores. The UK’s post-Second World War years are a perfect example.
The high casualty rates meant filling vacant jobs up and down the land was difficult, at a time when those from former Commonwealth countries and parts of the British Empire were looking to our shores for a better life.
In 1947, two ships docked at Liverpool and Southampton, carrying 441 passengers from the West Indies between them.
The arrivals went largely unnoticed and in 1948, the British Nationality Act afforded citizenship to all people living in the UK and its colonies, as well as the right of entry and settlement in the UK.
That summer, the Empire Windrush docked at the port of Tilbury, near London, carrying 802 migrants who had seen an advert in a Jamaican newspaper offering cheap transport on the ship. They were met with a media frenzy.
Footage from the era of people walking down the Empire Windrush gangplank marks the birth of multiculturalism in the UK. However, despite there being plenty of jobs available in the UK, African-Caribbean immigrants were often made to feel unwelcome, while clashes over housing, which was still in short supply, broke out.
Fascist and anti-immigration groups quickly sprang up; a hostile environment that historian Winston James later suggested helped create a shared Caribbean identity among immigrants, who came from a variety of island and class backgrounds.
In 1962, the UK enacted the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, restricting the entry of immigrants, and by 1972, only holders of work permits, or people with parents or grandparents born in the United Kingdom, could gain entry.
The move effectively ended Caribbean immigration.
Nevertheless, a new generation of Britons with African-Caribbean heritage came into being, contributing to and enriching British society in many, many fields.
But it wasn’t the end of the Windrush generation’s story.
In 2018, some British subjects who had arrived in the UK before 1973 were wrongly detained, denied legal rights and threatened with deportation. At least 83 people were also wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office. An estimated five per cent of victims were compensated.
Thankfully, this special documentary, created in partnership with Pride of Britain, is looking at more positive aspects of the story while celebrating 75 years since the Windrush’s arrival. Here, The Prince of Wales, Sir Trevor McDonald, Mel B, Alesha Dixon and Judi Love meet those who embarked on new lives in Britain.
They listen to their real-life stories, including some of the many challenges they have faced and the goals they have achieved.
Each contributor will be invited to the Pride of Britain Awards, to represent the Windrush Generation on stage, and receive a special Award on the entire group’s behalf.
The Good Ship Murder (Friday 20/10/23, C5, 9pm)
Words by Rob Lavender
It was hard to know what to expect from this new eight-part drama series from Channel 5 and featuring erstwhile Corrie co-stars Shayne Ward and Catherine Tyldesley. From the outset it was billed as a crime drama, suggesting (if you ignore the slightly overt title) something gritty. But then promos were made available and what we saw was bright, colourful and camp enough to make Death in Paradise look like Cracker.
Like Death in Paradise, The Good Ship Murder is pure entertainment, with a good amount of low-key comedy thrown in for good measure. The two soap-star leads are perfect, Ward playing former detective-turned-cruise ship cabaret singer Jack Grayling, and Tyldesley as newly promoted First Officer Kate Woods – who is determined that everything runs as smoothly as possible, worried that any blip or hiccup might see her demoted.
Naturally it’s not all smooth sailing on the Mediterranean, and this week a new face joins the passenger list in the form of a famous crime writer, Stephanie St James (Terry Bamberger).
On telly, murder follows crime writers around almost as frequently as it does ex-coppers, so with both of those professions in the mix in this episode, you can be sure someone will meet an untimely end – and it will fall to Jack to ensure the mystery is solved swiftly, so Kate can get back to running a tight ship.
Sure enough, in Lisbon, the author’s husband dies in circumstances that appear to be eerily similar to events in her own book. With a host of super-fans, hangers-on and writerly rivals all floating about, the pool of suspects is as deep as the Med itself.
It’s a bold decision to have a different, self-contained murder mystery in every episode, each in a different (and beautiful) port of call, but one has to wonder whether, by the end of the cruise/series, the ship is under some kind of a curse. Perhaps the vessel was designed in Midsomer?
And the murder detective-to-cruise ship singer career pathway is certainly an unusual one, but it’s perfect for Ward. The actor explains: “I’m really excited to be taking on this exciting role in this brand-new drama, allowing me to combine my two passions: music and acting. It really is a dream come true!
“Getting to work alongside my good friend Catherine again has been magical, and all while cruising around the Mediterranean… heaven.”
Ward and Tyldesley memorably played Corrie’s Aiden and Eva, a couple who endured more than their fair share of troubled waters.
Tyldesley also seemed to enjoy the reunion, saying: “I’ve loved taking on the role of Kate and keeping Jack in his place at sea. Being reunited with Shayne on a Mediterranean cruise has been so much fun and this series has been a joy to make and I’m sure will be a joy to watch – who doesn’t love a cruise?”