“The programme did not mock poor people. It’s necessary viewing.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Benefits Street, Channel 4

“This episode was an improvement on the last. At least here there were some attempts to challenge myths and confront prejudices about society’s most marginalised people, instead of lazily reinforcing them.”

Ellen E Jones, The Independent

“The programme did not mock poor people. Instead you saw the range of problems poverty creates and were offered a non-judgmental and mostly balanced view of the way they cope. It’s necessary viewing.”
Sameer Rahim, The Telegraph

“I don’t think Benefits Street is poverty porn. The cumulative, grisly portrayal is of Winson Green as a neglected, undernourished community where terrible things happen, generally not of its own making. It provokes thought, not laughter.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

The Great Sport Relief Bake Off, BBC2

“It’s still fun to speculate on which of this year’s batch will actually have any skill. Last night’s kitchen clown was TV and radio presenter Johnny Vaughan. It may have taken him two rounds to work out how to turn on the oven, but his one-liners were consistently on fire.”

Ellen E Jones, The Independent

“The format of the programme is so familiar that even the supposedly tense bits are soporific. Sue Perkins (sans Mel) tried to liven things up with some her traditional fruity phrases. But she went a bit too far when she invited Paul Hollywood and Mary to retire to their ‘bondage chamber’.”
Sameer Rahim, Daily Telegraph

“It was amusing to see Michael Vaughan spill a trayful of cookies across the floor – about what you’d expect from an England cricketer at the moment. And the technical challenge, to bake an upside-down tarte tatin, was so woeful that Mary burst out laughing. But the joke wears thin pretty quickly.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

Uncle, BBC3

“Fabulous, believable performances from comedian/singer/songwriter Nick Helm and young Elliot Spencer-Gillot. Uncle manages to be warm as well as dark and rude. And hilarious. It could well be the thing to fill the (good) comedy void since Him & Her and Toast of London ended.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

Icebound, BBC4

“It was edge-of-the-seat viewing, all the more exciting for being true. If only all TV was made with this much passion.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail