News, Culture & Society

DEBORAH ROSS: Oh Cap’n, I need you in a bath in Cornwall


Sunday, BBC1


Nadiya’s Time To Eat

Monday, BBC2


Dear Cap’n, I am sorry to knock Poldark down to a three-star experience but do not despair or go mad. It’s true, you do have Dr Dishy Dwight to hand should you go mad, but you may have to wait for an appointment as he is extremely busy inventing the whole of modern psychiatry, while Caroline looks n adoringly. Cap’n, I wonder, will Caroline be given any actual lines to say this series? Would it be a spoiler, if you were to tell us now? Could you just hint? I would ask her directly but then she’d have to be given a line and I’d have spoiled it for myself. I guess I’m just going to have to settle for: here’s hoping Caroline gets a line, eventually. 

Captain courageous: Aidan Turner in Poldark. 'Rars, you can sometimes be the most oblivious chump. But I forgive you because you are so hot'

Captain courageous: Aidan Turner in Poldark. ‘Rars, you can sometimes be the most oblivious chump. But I forgive you because you are so hot’

But really, don’t despair, particularly as I am about to advise you on how to restore the series to five-star status. And just so we’re clear, a naked tin-bath scene is not essential but it is a star, right there, for very little effort. Meanwhile, it was another busy episode, mostly set in that there London, as you and Demelzabub did them London things, like promenading in the park while the worst spies ever hid behind trees. Cap’n, these spies who are spying on you have yet to move indoors, but if they did, I’m guessing they’d position themselves behind the curtain with their feet sticking out. ‘I feel as if I’m being watched,’ Demelzabub will say. ‘Nonsense, my love,’ you will say, while stepping over the feet. Rars, you can sometimes be the most oblivious chump. But I forgive you because you are so hot. 

Mostly, this series has been concerned with clearing the name of your old friend, Ned Despard, and Rars, I’m trying, I really am, just as I’m trying to get over Geoffrey Charles’s very modern hairdo, but I do not care about Ned Despard. Nor the conspiracy at the highest level that now involves both Mahogany Man and Kestrel Man. Cap’n, I find Ned tedious, and the London scenes tedious, and I’m sighing and fidgeting and just longing for everyone to return to Cornwall. Cap’n, if there is one lesson you take away today, make it this: Poldark is Cornwall. And Poldark does not work elsewhere. (That is actually two lessons, but I’m offering BOGOF this week.) 

We want to check in with Poor Little Valentine – no, still can’t think who he reminds  me of – and Perpetually Framed Drake who is now Perpetually Sex-Starved Drake and also Tess at Nampara, who has been trying on Demelzabub’s dresses and may be planning to try you on for size, Rars. Thought I’d say that loud and clear, as you can be so oblivious, if so hot. And this is where it’s at, Rars. This is the Poldark we love. Plus a further word of advice: the rivalry between you and Sir Full-On-Evil George, who is going seriously cuckoo, has to be central, and not something that is sporadically revisited every now and then. I’m always  desperate to get back to Sir Full-On-Evil George – as well as Camp Creepy Uncle – and can’t see why we are even bothering with this Ned. So more Cornwall, more George and maybe the bath? You’ll earn a star and will also get clean, so it’s win-win, surely. But think about it, Rars. No rush, unless – if we are going to keep returning to London – maybe there is.

I love Nadiya Hussein, Rars, who is extremely natural on television and warm and gorgeous and just lovely, but in her new series, Nadiya’s Time To Eat, she keeps referring to people who are ‘rushed off their feet’. Who are these people? Why am I not ‘rushed off my feet?’ Am I not normal? Seriously, Rars, I am so time-rich that I just spent the whole morning picking debris from my keyboard keys with a toothpick, but please don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I excavated one particularly big crumb and it was thrilling. Anyway, for all the time-poor people who aren’t me, and exclusively appear to be mums – where are the time-poor dads, in the pub? – Nadiya is offering quick recipes, and some are weird, frankly. Her main recipe last week was haddock with a marmalade topping, which her husband and children did appear to enjoy, at least while the cameras rolled, and this week she made a fish bake using tinned spaghetti hoops, which a group of new mums did appear to enjoy, at least while the cameras rolled. She also made soda bread, which is something, she said, that she likes to do in the evenings after her children have gone to bed so they have fresh bread for the morning. Rars, I am time-rich, as we know, but even I was thinking: ‘NADIYA, JUST GO TO THE SHOP AND BUY A LOAF! GO TO THE ALL-NIGHT GARAGE! THAT’S HOW YOU SAVE TIME!’ But still, she is a delight, and if she ever gives any tips for a speedy kidney pie, I will pass them to Demelzabub, pronto. 





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