Tuesday 20 March 2018

Nigella Lawson back on the BBC Two with 'pared down' style as channel new season schedule revealed

Nigella Lawson
Nigella Lawson
Nigella on The Taste
Nigella Lawson

Hannah Furness

She rose to fame as the temptress of the British kitchen, encouraging indulgence in food and a hearty appetite for lovingly-created dishes.

Now, Nigella Lawson is returning to the BBC for a new series of cookery shows, featuring “pared-down” philosophy and light recipes to de-stress.

It will be her first appearance on the channel since Nigellissima in 2012, following a tumultuous few years in her personal life and a foray into US television.

Simply Nigella, a television series tied in to her new cookery book, will see her find a “true sense of balance between lightness and lushness”.

The new series is likely to feature fewer shots of heavy, indulgent meals - along with now-famous shots of Nigella seductively enjoying them - and more light dishes and breezy delivery to suit a modern audience.

 Lawson said: “It’s about food that makes our life easier, that makes us feel better, more alive and less stressed.”

It promising to showcase “healthy everyday breakfasts and substantial weekend brunches”, “quick-to-make, lighter suppers that de-stress” and “bowl food that comforts”.

The news will be hailed by fans of the television chef, who has endured a difficult few years in the limelight, including a divorce from Charles Saatchi and the very public court case in which she was required to lay bare details of her marriage and confront allegations of past drug use.

The Simply Nigella series will see her return to her best in the kitchen, teaching viewers how to make a selection of recipes to de-stress.

Speaking at the announcement of the new show, Lawson disclosed how her new kitchen had helped inspire her latest recipes, saying it was "so wonderful" to be able cook there.

Saying she favoured "bowl food", she told an industry audience: "Looking after yourself is incredibly important; you have to be able to sustain yourself.

"I honestly believe I'm at my happiest when I'm eating food out if a bowl with a spoon. No cutting needed.

"For me that sums up so much, comfort food doesn't have to be heavy, sometimes you do want something luscious and light."

She added she had begun cooking as an amateur, believing "good, like childrearing, should not be left to the experts."

"A little bit of stirring helps me decompress by the end of the day," she said.

The programme is one of numerous new commissions to be announced by the head of BBC Two, as they enter into a new season.

It the first indication of how BBC Two will move forward following the Top Gear scandal, after an enforced hiatus of one of its most-watched programmes.

The BBC Two season, to be announced in full by Kim Shillinglaw to the television industry, will also include the channel’s attempt to repeat the success enjoyed by the Great British Bake Off, which began life there before being poached by BBC One.

The Great British Pottery Throw Down, its next-best effort, will be presented by DJ Sara Cox and is being advertised as “GBBO’s messier cousin”.

It will aim to whittle ten amateur potters down to find the “master of the wheel”, and will be publicised with the line: “It’s messy, it’s hot, it’s pottery.”

Cox said: "Clay, mess, passionate potters and the team behind Bake Off. What's not to love. There's something really raw and exciting about grabbing a lump of clay and creating something unique out of it."

Elsewhere, the Hairy Bikers have been commissioned to help tackle the issues of an ageing population in Old School.

It will see the pair, who have previously attempted to improve Meals on Wheels, take a group of pensioners into school in a cross-generational challenge to improve levels of isolation and loneliness.

Gareth Malone will embark on his latest search for singers in The Naked Choir, a nationwide contest which tasks would-be stars with singing a Capella.

Hair will return for another series, in the quest to find the nation’s greatest hairdresser.

Family Guy, formerly of BBC Three, is to be broadcast on BBC Two in its 13th season.

Professor Mary Beard will show viewers around the Roman Empire, GBBO presenter Sue Perkins will present a new programme from the Himalayas, and Prof Brian Cox will explain the theory of Six Degrees of Separation.

Hugo Blick, the man behind The Honourable Woman and The Shadow Line, is to create a new “signature series” for the channel, based in contemporary Africa, while other dramas explore the perils of a stag do and next-door neighbours in Scotland.

A new comedy series, entitled Mum, will see Lesley Manville as a mother in her late 50s, rebuilding her life following the death of her husband.

Kim Shillinglaw, controller of BBC Two, said: “I want BBC Two to be the place to come for widest range of grown up, opinionated and entertaining content on British television.”


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