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Food TV Fortnight: BBC seeks to ‘bust the myths’ behind the food headlines in new series

Gloria Hunniford and Chris Bavin.
Gloria Hunniford and Chris Bavin.

While foodies might rule in the kitchen, it’s time to take charge of the TV remote control as Rebecca Shearer rounds up her top picks for the two weeks ahead.

Aside from the usual foodie feasts that appear on our TVs every Saturday and Sunday morning, many more grace our screens throughout the week that are essential viewing for any budding home cook or couch potato to add to their viewing repertoire.

Many TV production companies and broadcasting corporations even had to suspend their usual schedule these past few weeks and rely on re-runs and questionable content made in the living rooms of some well-known TV faces.

But, as the next fortnight shows, those days are (thankfully) long behind us as new food programmes are coming back to our screens.

Here are a few of our highlights to look out for the remainder of July, including a new BBC series, the finales of MasterChef and Bake Off Professionals edition respectively, as well as a compact ITV alternative to a Gregg Wallace BBC classic…

Food: Truth or Scare

Monday, July 20 – Friday July 24 
BBC One, 10am 

Chris Bavin and Gloria Hunniford.

This new show by the BBC seeks to bust the supposed “food confusion” reported in the news headlines. Presented by Chris Bavin and Gloria Hunniford, they tackle those all-important questions that apparently befuddle us all.

Topics such as “Does chicken cause cancer?”, “How can fish fingers be made healthy?”, “Is a glass of wine really good for you?’, “Are all carbs bad for you?”, “Could consuming our beloved tea put us at risk of cancer?”, “Does too much spice in our food cause stomach ulcers?” are only a few of the questions the team seek to answer, right after you’ve had your breakfast.

If 10am is too early for you to learn that all the food you’ve been eating and tea you’ve been drinking to get you through lockdown maybe hasn’t done you much good then you can watch all of the episodes later on BBC iPlayer.

Bake Off: The Professionals

Tuesdays, July 21 and July 28 
Channel 4, 8pm

Our beloved Great British Bake Off may not be going ahead this year but its much more intimidating counterpart, The Professionals, is here to keep us suitably entertained, or understandably scared, in its place.

Heading into the semi finals (July 21) and then the finals (July 28), the already heated competition is set to get a lot hotter as the remaining contestants seek to take on a secret recipe challenge and make some gourmet theatre.

Inside Britain’s Food Factories

Thursday, July 23 and July 30 
ITV, 8.30pm 

Inside Britain’s Food Factories.

Where the BBC has been creating a similar show starring Gregg Wallace that nobody asked to see – in which the MasterChef presenter heads to one factory for an hour-long show – ITV has upped the game with this offering which looks at three food factories in the space of 30 minutes.

And what an offering it is, with the Wagon Wheel factory in Wales, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Tyrrells crisps all being featured in the first episode on Thursday night. Plus, rumour has it, Gregg Wallace is nowhere to be seen…

Celebrity MasterChef

Wednesday – Friday evenings, until July 31 
BBC One, times vary 

Unfortunately our TV round-up can’t escape Gregg Wallace’s presence completely as Celebrity MasterChef enters its final two weeks of the competition.

Judy Murray, Riyadh Khalaf, Matthew Pinsent, Pete Wicks and Crissy Rock compete on Wednesday for two more spaces in the semi-final, ahead of the all-important final at the end of next week.

A 30-minute episode on Friday also shows the four remaining celebrities cooking a two-course meal for presenters John Torode, Gregg Wallace and former Celeb MasterChef finalists Les Dennis, Angelica Bell and Spencer Matthews.

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