Poldark adds quality to Sunday night TV

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Well, was it worth the wait?

The new series of the period drama Poldark is a great addition to Sunday night’s TV wasteland.

But it remains to be seen whether fans of 40 years ago - when boys were called Ross or girls were sometimes named Demelza - will re-connect with modern-day viewers, who are not up to speed with Cornish carry-ons from the 1780s.

That’s the backdrop to Sunday’s energetic, eight-part adaptation of Winston Graham’s first two novels which sees Britain in the grips of turbulent crises - falling wages, rising prices and civil unrest while the bankers are smiling.

If that’s all too present day, stay with the scenario of 1783 as Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner from The Hobbit trilogy) returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins...and, for a bonus, doesn’t use a Cornish accent or mumble, which blighted last year’s Jamaica Inn drama.

From drama to comedy, but with a serious message. Comic Relief takes over this Friday night’s viewing on BBC1 to round off this year’s fund-raising as the charity celebrates its 30th anniversary.

And they have all got their work cut out as this biennial event has to match or better the £75million raised in 2013.

So, make sure you are tuned in from 7pm onwards as Lenny Henry and Davina McCall host nearly four hours of big-name comedy capers aimed at raising money for worthwhile causes in the UK and Africa.

Back home, food looms large on the TV menu with “different dishes” to suit most palates.

Already underway is the 11th series of MasterChef (BBC1) with John Torode and Gregg Wallace overseeing a line-up of 40 talented, amateur chefs, all of whom are aiming to stay the course of this 24-part series to claim the prestigious title, as well as hoping to impress previous champions such as Mat Follas from 2009, Dhruv Baker the following year and Shelina Permalloo in 2012.

For some humour with your ham or halibut, there’s In and Out of the Kitchen (tonight, BBC4) which sees Miles Jupp’s successful Radio 4 series transferring to TV, with the comedian playing fussy cookery writer Damien Trench, cooking up some wild and weird dishes in the company of his boyfriend Anthony (Justin Edwards).

Then on Monday, BBC2 starts its four-parter Kew on a Plate as Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc and presenter Kate Humble show the results of a year spent at the famous botanical gardens at Kew as they re-establish the long-lost kitchen gardens that once provided produce for the royal table - from George II to Queen Victoria.

And, if you’ve still got the appetite for more foodie TV, then make sure you catch Back In Time for Dinner (Tuesday, BBC2), which, starting in 1950, takes just six weeks to check out what ordinary families ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, starting from meagre rations to today’s ready meals and delivery pizza.