TONY ON TV: Masterchef brings some heat back to our screen

DO you remember Keri Moss and Anton Piotrowski on TV last year?
Programme Name: Masterchef: The Professionals - TX: n/a -MasterChef - The Professionals (BBC Pictures)Programme Name: Masterchef: The Professionals - TX: n/a -MasterChef - The Professionals (BBC Pictures)
Programme Name: Masterchef: The Professionals - TX: n/a -MasterChef - The Professionals (BBC Pictures)

I did not until I was reminded that they were the joint winners of ‘MasterChef: The Professionals,’ the BAFTA-award winning show which is now back for a sixth series on BBC2, bringing some much-needed heat to the autumn evenings as 32 would-be culinary champions aim to bring style and success to their kitchen creations

As before they have to impress double Michelin–starred chef Michel Roux Jr and his no-nonsense senior sous chef, Monica Galetti, as well as the show’s “sergeant major” Gregg Wallace who will no doubt be expecting more than a fish platter for the main course while he hovers round the sweet trolley.

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A more leisurely approach to food is served up on More4 on Thursday evenings in ‘Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Island Feast’ as the Israeli chef touches down on the French island of Corsica long enough to savour the local produce and cook a chestnut cake, the first stop off on a four-venue tour which also includes Mallorca, Sardinia and Crete.

I see Ottolenghi’s left Sicily off his itinerary, probably because ace detective ‘Inspector Montalbano’ has already sorted out what’s dish of the day while solving crime on the island, but that ends this Saturday on BBC4 after an all-too-short season with ‘A Ray of Light’ in which he wonders if there’s more to the case of a young woman who is attacked and robbed on her way home late at night.

Fans who want to catch up on Salvo’s Sicilian sleuthing should put in an early request to Santa for Acorn Media’s new release of ‘Inspector Montalbano: The Complete Series Two.’

This six-disc set, comprising 12 separate cases, runs for more than 20 hours, and is available, price £49.99, from local stores or by contacting the Acorn Video Hotline on 0845-123-2312.

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Two other very different series coming to an end this week include a two-for-the-price-of-one bargain offer of the supermarket comedy ‘Trollied’ (Sky1, 9 to 10pm, Thursday) in which Richard France of the crazy ideas department aims to fool the judges at the store’s awards ceremony.

Whether he and the rest of the Valco gang are back for a fourth series awaits a re-order from head office, but I’m sure that plans are already being made for a fifth chapter of upstairs/downstairs life that is ‘Downton Abbey’ (ITV1, Sunday).

The stately home saga ends in a 90-minute episode complete with a number of cliffhangers, not least of which is some unsettling news for Anna just when she and Bates seemed to be coming through the worst of their troubles.

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