“Dave has refused to relinquish his title of Hairy Biker. To see him revving up again, in every sense, was an inspiration.”


The Hairy Bikers: Coming Home for Christmas, BBC2

“Cookery shows are the most fake programmes on TV, and Christmas cookery programmes are usually even worse: presenters put on jazzy jumpers to sit around a table with “friends” they don’t know in a house that isn’t theirs, eating food they didn’t cook and reciting platitudes they didn’t write about what Christmas means to them, in scenes that were filmed in August. Humbug! The Hairy Bikers: Coming Home for Christmas is not one of those shows. Because of the presenters’ personal circumstances, and because the Hairy Bikers have always seemed a lot more real than their TV-chef rivals, their festive special really is what other Christmas culinary programmes only pretend to be: a warming, moving celebration of friends, family and food, giving thanks for another year survived.”
Jack Seale, The Guardian

“The banquet was staged as a thank-you to the medics and friends who have sustained Dave and his wife, Lil, through the past 18 months. Special care went into a noodle dish with pork and veg, called pancit and inspired by a Filipino nurse called Gia. ‘I’m slicing the cabbage finer than a hummingbird’s toenail clippings,’ announced Dave cheerfully. No one can doubt how much joy he takes in cooking — or simply watching other people cook, as he did at a Birmingham bakery where cheesy Brummy bacon scones the size of ostrich eggs were being kneaded. He was equally thrilled to take delivery of a new Royal Enfield bike, though chemotherapy — a gruelling 37 bouts of it — has left him with a wobbly sense of balance. He practised for sitting on the bike by perching on a balance ball, yawing from side to side to control a video game. Cancer can eat away at the soul as well as the body. At one stage he was too weak to ride, and chemo temporarily robbed him of his trademark beard and locks. But Dave has refused to relinquish his title of Hairy Biker. To see him revving up again, in every sense, was an inspiration.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“It’s sunny, it’s a travelogue, it’s Harewood the socially conscious actor having his “prejudices about Dickens” challenged while cruising around Italy in a rented BMW saloon. Harewood is surprised because, after admitting to never having read Dickens, he is finding “him extremely funny, so politically astute in his perspective — it makes me think this isn’t necessarily this quintessentially posh English writer”. A summery trip around la dolce vita can do wonders for opening one’s mind.”
James Jackson, The Times

“Dickens might have been just one man on a trip, but he was looking for answers to questions that pertain to all of us. As was Harewood, who proved a thoughtful and engaging proxy for the audience’s curiosity (not to mention a taster for some amazing-looking pesto). Next, the series continues to follow Dickens’s journey to Naples, Venice and Padua. David, if you ever need a sidekick, I’m your woman.”
Emily Estkins, The i

“Families with access to a Disney+ subscription are likely to have many lovely evenings curling up in front of Percy’s latest incarnation, enjoying quippy one-liners and bloodless PG action – without having to remember the complicated history and links between the platform’s many MCU properties. Anyone who has attempted to explain the rules of a multiverse to a child will glide through breaking down a little Ancient Greek mythology between episodes.”
Leila Latif, The Guardian