Incredible Edibles

By Ben Felsenburg

In its desperate search for a replacement after The Great British Bake off switched over to Channel 4, the BBC serves up a new concoction, rustled up from the ingredients left in the larder. Britain’s Best Home Cook (Thursday, BBC1, 8pm) will strike you as uncannily familiar. here is Mary Berry judging proceedings as 10 contestants try to prove they’ve got what it takes in the kitchen, and each week we’ll be saying farewell to one. Instead of Mel and Sue providing bonhomie, we have Claudia Winkleman as host, but there are other, more crucial differences. Focusing on baking always made sense: cakes and biscuits can succeed marvellously or fail in spectacular ways, and it’s an easy subject on which to compare notes.

But now the competition has widened out to the whole gamut of cuisine, and we’re straying uncomfortably close into the area of another show the BBC might just know about because it has been running it for years: Masterchef. In an attempt to give proceedings a distinctive twist, the producers have added in a soupcon of The Apprentice and stuck all the contestants together in a single country home for the duration, but you won’t see the sharp teeth of alan sugar’s would-be protégés bared here. This week we begin with a bun-fight; a burger bun-fight to be precise – from a Welsh rarebit burger to ones made from Asian shredded beef and Indian spiced patty. Just don’t expect a sizzler.