TV re­view Twins put in dou­ble the ef­fort to test for the best

The Herald Magazine - - Arts TELEVISION - ALI­SON ROWAT


TELE­VI­SION can be a grumpy old beg­gar at times. There you are, made it through Christ­mas and the reg­u­la­tion ten tons of Qual­ity Street, and there’s an ex­tra inch or three on the old waist to prove it. So what? It will come in handy for Jan­uary. If it is good enough for bears to pile on the fat for win­ter ...

No, no, no, says tele­vi­sion, wag­ging its bony fin­ger in your face. It’s a new year, a new start, and 2019 must see a new, im­proved you, so spit spot and let’s be hav­ing you watch­ing pro­grammes that show how to go about it. Sigh.

First up was Tom Ker­ridge’s Fresh Start (BBC2, Wed­nes­day, 8pm). Hav­ing lost 12 stones in the past five years, the Miche­lin-starred chef has both talked the talk and walked the walk on di­ets. He made a win­ning im­pres­sion last year with his Lose Weight for Good se­ries, and now he’s back, and go­ing back to basics, show­ing fam­i­lies how to ditch con­ve­nience food and cook from scratch.

The eight fam­i­lies cho­sen, “my gang,” as he called them, were clearly in need of a hand. One lot had car­rots in the fridge, but those were strictly for the guinea pigs. Ker­ridge took things slowly, start­ing the be­gin­ners off with bangers and mash and pasta with sauce, al­though blow­torch­ing pep­pers for the lat­ter seemed a tad ad­vanced for new­bies. If you were that raw at cook­ing, would you have a blow­torch in the kitchen?

Ker­ridge is a nat­u­rally matey sort, so well suited to this type of pro­gramme. His en­thu­si­asm is in­fec­tious and he passes on his vast knowl­edge of food in an easy-osey way, as if he is just some bloke who has learned to throw a few things to­gether. One would call him the new Jamie Oliver if the old one wasn’t still very much around; but you have com­pe­ti­tion, Jamie lad.

ap­par­ent mo­tive, there is lit­tle for Sut­ton to go on. How­ever, there has been a spate of sim­i­lar vi­o­lent at­tacks on women in the area, and the de­tec­tive sus­pects there could be a link be­tween this case and the mur­der of Mar­sha McDon­nell in 2003.

Do the Right Thing with Ea­monn & Ruth (C5, 9pm)

Ruth Langs­ford, Ea­monn Holmes, Michael Un­der­wood and Dame Es­ther Rantzen re­turn for a se­cond run of the live con­sumer se­ries. The first episode sees Ruth check­ing out the lat­est trend for buff­ing in the buff with a team of na­tur­ist clean­ers. Mean­while Ea­monn in­ves­ti­gates hol­i­days from hell, and vis­its an in­spir­ing cafe that is dish­ing up a healthy serv­ing of TLC. And the team have a timely

As does ev­ery pop­u­lar sci­ence pre­sen­ter from Chris and Xand van Tulleken. The greedy pair have not just one sell­ing point but two: they are iden­ti­cal twins, and doc­tors to boot, mak­ing them the ideal pre­sen­ters for The Twin­sti­tute (BBC2, Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm).

Us­ing them­selves, and 30 other pairs of iden­ti­cal twins as sub­jects, the two set out to test com­pet­ing the­o­ries, in­clud­ing what would shift weight faster, diet or ex­er­cise, and was med­i­ta­tion a bet­ter way to cope with pain than swear­ing?

The duo tested the lat­ter per­son­ally by hav­ing their feet tat­tooed, and my

word of warn­ing for any­one run­ning lo­cal fundrais­ing and char­ity groups, who are at risk of los­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds in a nasty con.

SAS: Who Dares Wins (C4, 9pm)

The re­al­ity show in which vol­un­teers are put through SAS re­cruit­ment tests re­turns for a fourth se­ries, hosted by chief in­struc­tor Ant Mid­dle­ton. In 2019, the Min­istry of De­fence will change its se­lec­tion cri­te­ria for the SAS, al­low­ing women to ap­ply for the first time. To co­in­cide with this, this se­ries will fea­ture male and fe­male can­di­dates com­pet­ing against one an­other. The first round of tests comes from the An­des in cen­tral Chile, where the re­cruits must pull fully loaded sledges across high-al­ti­tude val­leys and plunge into freez­ing wa­ter­falls.

Xand and Chris van Tulleken more than earned their pre­sent­ing fees on The Twin­sti­tute in a test to as­sess the best way of deal­ing with pain

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