“Whoever dreamt up this show, a layer cake of cookery, history documentary, people-watching and interior-snooping, deserves a biscuit.”

Mary Berry's Country House Secrets

“On paper Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets might have seemed like another cake-eat-it-fail combo. Sometimes though an idea is so silly it works. Whoever dreamt up this show, a layer cake of cookery, history documentary, people-watching and interior-snooping, deserves a biscuit.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“This could so easily have become a kitsch trek along the tourist trail, treating viewers like gawping American visitors on a coach tour. Or it might have turned into a snooty parade of snobs, showing off their heritage for the riff-raff to envy. But Mary is so sweetly assured, never obsequious and always perfectly polite, that she seemed to put even the 8th Countess of Carnarvon at her ease.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“No one expects hard questions from our lovely doyenne of the piping bag. We expect a genteel world of spaniels, labradors and high tea, where everyone is ‘frightfully kind’ and everything ‘absolutely scrummy’ and that’s exactly what we got.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“While such a sumptuous lifestyle is far removed from most of our own lives, Berry’s cooking remained familiar and undaunting to make. Some of the to-camera pieces seemed a little forced, but when left to riff with the Countess she was a sheer delight.”
Rachel Ward, The Telegraph

“Berry’s first stop is Highclere Castle, or what is now better known as the real Downton Abbey. Three years ago the temporal collision of these two TV giants in their prime would have caused a meltdown. Now it felt a little like both were at a loose-end, trying to make the most of it. Both were lovely to look at, in a posh, tasteful kind of way, but felt a little underemployed.”
Bernadette McNulty, The i

“It is technically a documentary, I suppose, but what it much more closely resembles is a sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub par Victoria Wood sketch. Up and down the land, there are nativity plays being prepared that will contain more natural dialogue.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

Godless, Netflix

“Written and directed by Scott Frank, this seven-parter has classic films such as Shane and The Searchers coursing through its veins. But Godless also has a contemporary feel to it, deftly weaving issues such as gender, race and sexual orientation into a narrative so gripping that I watched the whole lot in one sitting.”
Patrick Smith, The Telegraph

“It’s slow enough to teeter on the edge of ponderous at times, but those who have seen ahead promise fine work from all. I shall stay if only to find out the fate of Michelle Dockery’s New Mexico accent.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian