The Great British Sewing Bee, TV review
This year's contestants are cut from a different cloth
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 19 February 2014
The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC2) is back for a second series, so there's really no fighting it any more.
The Great British have conquered all crafts and all hobbies and now no such programme will ever be complete without the mandatory inclusion of "Great" and "British" in the title.
This isn't entirely to be regretted. Like its obvious inspiration, The Great British Bake-Off, The Great British Sewing Bee successfully mixes good-natured competition with practical tips and sections on history.
This week's challenges required the contestants to demonstrate skill with cotton, wool and silk, giving presenter Claudia Winkleman time to take a walking tour of Spitalfields and enlighten us about the Huguenot influence on London's 18th-century rag trade.
As for the show's other stated aim, encouraging viewers to take up needle and thread, the variety of contestants in this series is promising.
There were a few who followed the pattern of last year's winner, 81-year-old former domestic science teacher Ann Rowley, but most were cut from a different cloth entirely.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd