How many men will be taking a new interest in cooking on Monday when a new-look Nigella slips back into the kitchen?
Her new series, Nigellissima, is her typically singular take on Italian cooking and those familiar with her cookery books will know that this promises much. She doesn’t need to leave her kitchen for it, let alone go to Italy, Nigella (Lawson, although she is now surely, like Delia, known to us all simply by her first name) merely wants to show us a string of stunning and delicious-looking dishes that can be made, including a tempting sounding one called “eggs in purgatory”.“Greed is my main motivation” she claims, but much has been made of the fact she looks positively svelte after laying off the wine and doing a bit more exercise.
Whatever, her programmes are always immensely watchable and, crucially, her food eminently do-able (Monday, BBC2, 8.30pm).
Another banker when it comes to presenting great series is Andrew Marr, who this week starts his ambitiously titled Andrew Marr’s History of the World. It was one thing doing Britain (brilliantly), but the world is a whole new ball game.
That said, there’s few broadcasters in the land better equipped to tell the story of 70,000 years of human history in eight episodes. So, we are told, along the way there is space for Genghis Khan and Adolf Hitler, but not for Henry VIII or Catherine the Great.Marr is a superb storyteller and he’ll need to be with such a vast subject to cover (Sunday, BBC1, 9pm).
Elsewhere, look out for Channel 4’s typically feather-ruffling experiment on Wednesday and Thursday from 10pm. Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial in which the likes of actor Keith Allen and artist Lionel Shriver take MDMA and the effects of it are observed under clinical conditions by, among others, Professor David Nutt (yes, the former drugs advisor to the Labour Government). The Daily Mail will get excited, but let’s see what it delivers before we judge it too soon. On the comedy front, Never Mind the Buzzcocks returns on Monday on BBC2 (9pm) while the last of the brilliantly funny The Revolution will be Televised sees roving reporter “Dale Maily” visit a gay pride march (Wed, BBC3, 10pm). And don’t miss Room at the Top, a BBC4 dramatisation (pulled from the schedules last April) of John Braine’s famous novel, starring Maxine Peake and Matthew McNulty (Wed and Thurs, 10pm). Finally, trash choice of the week: Surely, Wills and Kate: Baby Fever (Sun, Channel 5, 7pm) in which royal experts speculate...Avoid!