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Last week Thomas Sutcliffe tried to work up an appetite for TV cookery programmes

How sad do you have to be to want to consume TV cookery programmes? If ever there was evidence that we are a nation of watchers rather than doers then it is the news that we are to have more cookery programmes rammed down our throats.

Here is a recipe for recreational cooking: take a cookbook, find the recipe you want, note down the ingredients, go to the shops and buy what you need, return to your kitchen and cook what you have bought, serve on a plate, eat. Use your imagination, make your own mistakes, learn from them. Why let a grinning, swilling TV cook take away the mystery and the enjoyment? You might as well head for the chiller department in M&S and heat and serve. Stand the heat, get into the kitchen.

J Durrant

London NW2

Today's TV chefs are an anomaly. Working women have little time or energy for cooking, and serve pre-cooked food from supermarkets. Cookery programmes should concentrate on helping them, or on haute cuisine as entertainment.

Delia Smith clones should be sought - honest and helpful. Why not have a series on dishes that cannot be pre-cooked - a souffle, simple when explained, or things to do with batter, or Irish soda bread - a lifeline when shops are shut.

For cooking buffs, a series on master dishes by experts would be inspiring and might preserve the art of creative cooking.

Frances Neill

London N10

What daytime television viewers need - almost by definition, I would suggest, since an addiction to that kind of programming suggests deficiencies in some key areas - is an education in the basic principles of the kitchen. A short course in domestic science, with lessons on why a souffle rises, how to recognise fresh produce, would be infinitely more valuable than a teasing invitation to spend vast sums on exotic ingredients for frou- frou dishes made to impress the neighbours.

James Burnham