“This was the usual pleasantly plinky hour of good humour and loveliness”

Bake Off The Professionals

Bake Off: The Professionals, Channel 4

“Inevitably, this was the usual pleasantly plinky hour of good humour and loveliness. Unless, that is, you’re a pâtissier receiving the withering verdicts of the judges, the odd couple Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden. ‘Pretty much a disaster’, ‘A bit of a car crash’, and so on. If you’re lucky, the professional Frenchman Blin will cry, ‘Boom!’, his version of a Paul Hollywood handshake. However, a star docked here for the opening tease, a  preview montage of toppling tiers as elaborate ‘showpiece’ cakes fell down to horrified cries — an hour later not a single such baking catastrophe had occurred to hoot over. Because there’s only one thing more fun than a good showpiece in Bake Off, and that’s a good collapsing showpiece.” 
James Jackson, The Times

“The cheery charm of Bake Off didn’t quite translate to the world of expert cake-makers as Bake Off: The Professionals returned, with an earnestness and solemnity that clogged the nostrils slightly. Wasn’t mucking about with buns and pastries supposed to be a laugh?If anything it was less a spin-off than an entirely different show artificially attached to the Bake Off brand.” 
Ed Power, The i

“For all their complaints, the standard was plainly superb. And that’s the problem with Bake Off: The Professionals — they’re all too good.” 
Christopher Stevens, The Daily Mail

City on a Hill, Sky Atlantic

“City on a Hill, a pacey crime drama exploring the shady intersection between politics and the law. Yet it’s good, slick, venal entertainment that, on the evidence of most of the opening episode of series two, is growing ever more comfortable in its skin.”
James Jackson, The Times

“Bacon was a compelling throwback to the glory days of the small screen antihero. It was just as well that his performance – and his moustache – were so impressive. Because while Bacon’s Hollywood luminescence lit up the action, City on a Hill otherwise remained deeply murky.”
Ed Power, The i

Solos, Amazon Prime Video

“Mackie’s fine, but he can only work with the material provided. Monologues, or even mono-actor two-handers, rely on the writing. When it really matters, this intriguing premise is let down by its dialogue.”
Ed Cumming, The Independent

Hospital, BBC2

“Other scenes were heartbreaking. No sympathy could ever be enough to comfort the couple whose baby was stillborn, after she died at 37 weeks. This series often has to balance joy and tragedy. The poles were never further apart than in this episode.”
Christopher Stevens, The Daily Mail