“A large part of this documentary series’ magic is its real-life soap.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.


Sandhurst, BBC4

“The soldiers here were taken on a trip to a military cemetery to impress upon them just how terminally demanding their career choice can be, and they were also encouraged to read the combat diaries of an exemplary young officer who had been killed just four weeks into his first tour in Afghanistan.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“A large part of this documentary series’ magic is its real-life soap; the rise and fall of the characters whose mettle is being well and truly tested.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

Jono: Finding My Family on Facebook, BBC3

“Jono Lancaster, who has Treacher-Collins syndrome, explored the odd twist that social media have added to the business of reuniting divided families, by making it far easier for adopted children to seek out blood relatives.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

The Wonderful World of Tony Blair, Channel 4

“Oborne is to be congratulated for doing a superb job in uncovering a world of crisscrossing business connections both murky and to put it mildly morally dubious.”Virginia Blackburn, The Express

Home Cooking Made Easy, BBC2

“The key to cookery shows, and I love them, is that the food should be the star. Here it certainly wasn’t. Here it was the host, Lorraine Pascale, who smilingly, saccharinely, poured herself over proceedings.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

“A lot of cooking programmes go too far the other way, do things you wouldn’t even dream of attempting. This one has swung back too far – for me, anyway (he says, increasingly cockily). There’s nothing to inspire me here, no recipes I’d want to tear out if they were in a magazine. The only thing I would like to tear out here is the host (he says, increasingly seedily).”

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Three people come along and cook their favourite family recipes – great-aunt Maria’s chicken casserole, great-grandma Elizabeth’s pan haggerty, and grandma Gertie’s steak and kidney pudding in this episode. Then Gino D’Acampo – a comedy Italian who adds at least one extra syllable to every word and slips a cheeky arm round the ladies – picks a winner, which goes on the menu of a restaurant for a month.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian