In the Victorian era, mechanised equipment transformed the confectionery world, making it possible to mass-produce affordable sweets. Our four cheery modern-day confectioners roll up their sleeves (occasionally burning themselves on molten toffee) to stock their Victorian shop. It’s obviously fun, but they’re shocked at how much of a production line the work has become.
They make boiled sweets such as barley twists and rose rock, as well as an exotic confection introduced by Rowntree’s in 1879 – fruit pastilles. The results look glorious tumbled in their jars – like gleaming colourful jewels – while the giant chocolate egg at the centre of their window display is spectacular. No wonder people consumed so much sugar.
The early 20th century was a boom time for eating chocolate (it had previously only been used to make a hot drink), with the three big companies – Rowntree’s, Cadbury and Fry’s – shrewdly producing cheaply filled “combination bars”. That’s Rolo, Aero, Flake and Turkish Delight to you and me.
In a first for this series, Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell help a birth father look for the son who was adopted as a baby, against his wishes, more than 40 years ago.
Even though Andy was getting divorced when he discovered his girlfriend was pregnant, her family insisted that she break all contact with him. He’s been deeply distressed about losing his son ever since: “You grieve… it’s just like a bereavement. I think about him all the time,” he says.
The other story is equally heartbreaking. Mary spent the first seven years of her life in care. Although as a baby she lived briefly with a couple, they didn’t adopt her because she was deaf.
The reunions are – as always – intensely emotional, but somehow it’s even more touching when it’s two blokes who are doing the sobbing.
This was filmed long before Theresa May called her election and, yes, Gillian Bevan’s portrait of her as a cold and calculating tyrant can now be seen to be somewhat wide of the mark. But don’t let that put you off another dose of deliciously off-the-leash spoofery.
Tonight, Camilla wants to poison the PM and get absolute power for Charles, while Kate, who has “seen Trainspotting”, is determined to remedy Scotland’s drugs problem by live-streaming herself taking “skag”. Beatrice, Fergie and Eugenie get the hots for Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, while an even more unlikely love story brews between Wills and… Nicola Sturgeon. Och aye!
Following BBC1’s drama Three Girls, this is a definitive doc about the Rochdale scandal. Victims, and the community workers (Sarah Rowbotham, above), journalists and police officers who tried in vain to help, give their accounts of how the systematic sexual abuse of girls was ignored.
Nancy (Lake Bell) steals someone else’s blind date, Jack (Simon Pegg), from under a clock at Waterloo Station, and the lie leads to major mayhem in this feel-good comedy from director Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners Movie). There’s a screwball rhythm to the action and a snappy, wordy script that gallops past the “meet-cute to meet-wrong” concept to redeem itself with a credible romance. Bell and Pegg’s on-screen chemistry is pitted against the amorous attentions of Nancy’s oddball school chum (Rory Kinnear) and Jack’s weird ex-wife (Olivia Williams), which keeps them all running around in circles. Man Up is heaped with wit and insight, and its smart script, sharp direction and crisp performances, all set against buzzing London streets that denizens will recognise, give it the feel of a frisky romantic version of After Hours. Bell’s English accent is pretty good, too.
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