masterchefPICKLING a pea is not easy, trust me, I tried. Ditto radish slivers, potato eyes and pineapple shavings.

Fiddly.

You see, in a bid to add a new twist to my Findus crispy pancakes, Arctic Rolls and Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies, I’ve been trying the fancy techniques used on this year’s MasterChef (BBC One, all the time), where everything was pickled, not just pickle-friendly things, but mad stuff like custard, fruit, cow face – even me, by the end of the final.

And, oh, the flowers. Blooming everywhere. Yet, despite fastidious pruning of my nasturtium patch, it’s still tired and wilted. I blame the weather.

Floppy blossom draped over a bowl of Heinz Sausages and Beans does not a Michelin-starred dish make.

Faddy food takes skills, and all three finalists were amazing cooks, able to pickle at will, but I especially liked the jolly-hockey-sticks, head girl with a surprising Italian name, played by Jennifer Saunders.

Judges, John Tureen and Gregg Mollusc had their work cut out, and quite possibly their spleens, as they must’ve sucked, slurped and chomped their way through a dozen bottles of malt and half of Kew Gardens by the end of the series.

It was the tightest, nail-bitiest final ever, but Saliha finally won. I’m guessing because she had the largest supplies of Sarsons and flowers.

Further trendy food starred in another final – the admirably low-key wonderful last episode of The Trip To Spain (Sky Atlantic).

Steve ‘I’ve Got a Bit Of A Colourful Past’ Coogan and Rob ‘The Chin’ Brydon are the prefect double act, mercilessly taking the Mickey out of one another, usually in the voices of Anthony Hopkins, Captain Kirk, Terry Wogan or Michael Caine, as they wander the countryside, eating incredible food.

While doing impressions that are so spot-on it’s uncanny. Their Mick Jaggers are genius. Both do him differently, yet both manage to make it sound like he’s in the room. Jagger himself would be in hysterics – and he’s quite serious.

Best-observed of all are their impressions of themselves. Coogan plays a cynical, borderline depressive who’s obsessed with fame and mildly irritated by everything, especially Brydon.

Brydon plays a constantly cheery, but monumentally irritating comic.

THE Crown was robbed!

Happy Valley snatched the award from right under its nose and claimed it as its own at this year’s Baftas (BBC One, Sunday, 9pm).

I don’t care how well-written it was, nor how brilliantly produced. And yes, I know that Sarah Lancashire is the ultimate every-woman actress, loved as much as, if not more than, Queen Elizabeth herself, but nothing has come close to being better than The Crown (Netflix).

If you have Netflix and you haven’t seen it, please, despite any misgivings you may have, watch it now.

If you haven’t seen it because you don’t have Netflix, get it and then personally thank me for the tip, tell me it’s one of the best things you’ve ever seen, and then go: “You’re right, Lozza, it was robbed!”

The entire cast is class, but Claire Foy as the young Queen is glorious and Matt Smith as Prince Philip is, as the prince would say, bloody fantastic.

When collecting her best actress Bafta, even Sarah Lancashire thanked Claire Foy for “the best 10 hours under a duvet I’ve ever had”.

She explained later that she’d started the first episode on a Sunday morning and was still watching in bed 10 hours later.

Holding up her Bafta, she said: “I’d like to be able to chop this in half.”

And I’d like half of Lancashire’s free time!

Advertisements