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TV Review: Jamie’s £1 Wonders, Panorama: Disaster Deniers: Hunting the trolls, SAS Rogue Heroes, and I’m a Celebrity. . . Get Me Out of Here!

11 November 2022

Channel 4

In Jamie’s £1 Wonders (Channel 4, Monday of last week), Jamie Oliver prepares meals on a budget

In Jamie’s £1 Wonders (Channel 4, Monday of last week), Jamie Oliver prepares meals on a budget

STEAM sufficient to batch-cook a freezerful of treacle puddings came from my ears during Jamie’s £1 Wonders (Channel 4, Monday of last week). Not diminishing Mr Oliver’s achievements in banishing turkey Twizzlers, the budget cookery show was economically tone-deaf. With a retro-style fridge in the background, and pricey pans on the hob, the chef exclaimed that dishes were “an event”, and “happy days”.

While Jamie’s lips extolled microwaved chick-pea curry and veg lasagne, his expression telegraphed repulsion. Consisting of one leek, shared between six people, and sauce made from a litre of milk thickened with flour and mustard, the lasagne was clearly not just scruffy, but too sloppy to plate up.

The finale was a speedy sponge pudding made from white flour and jam. A wistful look came over the chef as he foreswore “proper custard”, parading the omission of vanilla pods to balance the books. But pretending that the answer to poverty is “clever swaps” and expending effort on swampy dishes never destined to grace the Oliver table leaves a bad taste.

Panorama: Disaster Deniers: Hunting the trolls (BBC1, Monday of last week), an exploration of individuals who discredit disaster survivors on social media, is a tasting-plate for Radio 4’s ten-part series Disaster Trolls (reviewed opposite). The BBC disinformation correspondent Marianna Spring is calm as she elicits painful testimony, from survivors of the Manchester and London Bridge terrorist attacks, on the effect of social-media character slurs.

The trolling began when they were recovering in hospital, continuing to the present day. Anniversaries of incidents bring a barrage of insults. Spring’s confrontation with the conspiracy theorist Richard D. Hall in Methyr Tydfil was reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz ending. Her questions on the morality of his money-making “investigations”, as he shrank in his chair, refusing to answer, tore away the curtain of Mr Hall’s power to intimidate survivors.

In SAS Rogue Heroes (BBC1, Sunday), the Middle East intelligence chief Lt. Col. Dudley Clark (Dominic West) laments that his fictional regiment may be destroyed at birth by David Stirling’s (Conor Swindell) accident-prone attempts to make the secret force a North African campaign reality. Stirling is aided by Jock Lewes (Alfie Allen), who says the Lord’s Prayer at night while looking at his fiancée’s photo. All the men are “played” by a French spy, Eve (Sofia Boutella), who enters a Cairo Orthodox church with bare shoulder and midriff. As the opening credits say, some events may seem unreal.

I’m a Celebrity. . . Get Me Out of Here! (ITV, Sunday) “played” viewers by delaying the entrance of the former Cabinet minister Matt Hancock. As the Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner swerves the role of jungle twit by deciphering a code, and the former rugby player Mike Tindall embodies other participants’ capable likeability, who could the fall guy be?

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