Friday November 14th 2014


It will be Alan’s very last episode of The Alan Titchmarsh Show and he’s got a very special surprise up his sleeve for his grand finale. Alan has promised to sing a song from a classic West End musical just for his fans and viewers – it will be a TV first!

Also joining him with more surprises are the legendary chat show host Des O Connor and the amazing voice of Katherine Jenkins.


AT show logo



Alan goes back to celebrate the style of the sixties and also plays tribute to that classic game show What’s My Line.  His guests are West End star Ruthie Henshall and Boycie himself, John Chalis.




Tonight we’ll be subjected to grisly ghouls, ghastly ghosts and gory goblins as children all across Britain transform into terrifying monsters…well, more than they are normally at any rate! But where do these scary stories come from? Carla Valentine, Technical Curator at the Bart’s Pathology Museum is far from gruesome herself, but knows a thing or two about the history behind the horrifying legends such as werewolves, vampires,  zombies and Frankenstein.

With thanks to ASDA:

With thanks for Charles Fox for making-up our zombies from Thrill the World London!




Sue Johnston, 70, has become one of our most-loved actresses, since her TV debut aged 38! Since then, she has never been far from our screens, with roles in Brookie, The Royle Family, Corrie, Waking The Dead, and a BAFTA nomination To boot. She’s now joining the cast of Downton Abbey and swapping the Royle Family for high society!


British-born Iranian comic Omid Djalili has enjoyed rather a long and successful career despite all of his failures!  Djalili has starred in Hollywood blockbusters and critically acclaimed plays and broken records for his sell-out stand up tours.  Djalili is here to tell us about his new autobiography, his UK tour and food series.


Tickets are on sale, and dates have been added to Djalili’s current tour!  He has been on the road since October and isn’t stopping until the 28th March at Eventim Apollo Hammersmith.  The show follows from his hugely successful spring tour of ‘Omid Djalili Live’, not to mention performing in New York, LA, San Francisco and Washington DC last year.




Pre heat oven to 180

Add oil to coat base of tray and scrape our all the pumpkin seeds and hair

Add the pumpkin to the tray and cover tightly in foil, roast in the oven for 60 minutes remove, check the pumpkin is soft all the way through, allow to cool and then scrape the pumpkin into a food processor and puree.

If the pulp is very wet cook in a saucepan to remove the liquid as steam stirring continuously until is at holding point.

Allow to cool.

Spiced Cider Syrup

In a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

When the butter stops foaming, add the apple cider, brown sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, stirring. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reduced by half to about 1 cup or slightly more. This will take about 15 minutes.

The syrup will thicken as it cools.

Pumpkin French toast

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with the pumpkin, eggs, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a wide, shallow bowl. Heat a griddle or large pan over medium-low heat. Coat the pan with a few teaspoons of butter. Soak a 2 to 4 slices of bread (depending on the size of your griddle) in the pumpkin mixture for a few seconds, turning to coat both sides.

When the butter is foaming, arrange the soaked bread on the griddle.

Cook the soaked bread until browned on the bottom. Turn and brown the other side. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Transfer to a shallow lightly buttered or parchment-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining French toast.

Use your favourite bread for this French toast.

Serve with a ball of vanilla icecream.


Jackson Estate Grey Ghost Sauvignon Blanc (RRP £18, available from selected retailers)

This Halloween wine is named after the giant 142ft gum tree planted in 1867 by Jackson Estate’s owner, John Stichbury’s great grandmother, Alice.  The tree is what is now on every Jackson Estate wine bottle.  The wine is names after a childhood ghost story about the gum tree that Alice used to tell young John and got him scared enough to not wonder around in the dark!  The wine has notes of white peach, mandarin blossom and honeysuckle.

Big bad wolf beer  (RRP £1.79, available from Tesco)

The new bespoke beer use authentic, quality ingredients and innovative brewing techniques.  The ‘Big Bad Wolf’ is an India Pale Ale brewed with seven hop varieties


Tequila la Tilica  (RRP £48.95-£54.95, available from

Tequila la Tilica, a brand new range of traditionally crafted tequila; each bottle is inspired by and dedicated to a particular area of Mexico, referencing the country’s rich cultural history.  The skull is also a big icon of Mexico’s version of Halloween; “Day of the Dead.” The La Tilica range have been double-distilled, filtered 10 times consists of three tequilas; Blanco, Anejo and Reposado – all made from 100% agave, but with individual colours and tastes depending on their age; blanco, anejo and reposado.

Eyeball Jellies

This Halloween treat can be made for adults and children; Helen was bought along her children, George, Alexander and Alice to taste the children’s version for us!


  • 1 x pack raspberry or strawberry jelly
  • 1 x tin of lychees
  • 1 x pack of blueberries
  • 6x shots Vodka:  William Chase Potato Vodka (RRP £22.50, available from selected retailers)

METHOD:  Makes 8 small jellies

Make up the jelly mixture in a jug. Insert a blueberry into each lychee, making it look like an eyeball and drop one or two into small glasses. Then pour the jelly mixture over the top and leave in the fridge to set.  If making this for adults, add six shots of vodka to the jelly mixture.

Revoltingly Delicious Wine Punch


  • 1 x bottle of red wine:  Waitrose Mellow & Fruity Spanish Red Wine (RRP £4.99, available from Waitrose)
  • 1 x bottle lemonade
  • 1 x carton fresh orange juice
  • 2 x limes
  • Fruit slices (optional)


Pour three parts red wine, two parts lemonade, one part orange juice and lime juice to taste into a punch bowl. Add ice and fruit slices (apple, lime, orange – whatever you have to hand).

Creepy Cauldron (for kids)


  • 500ml of cranberry juice
  • 1.5 litres of lemonade
  • 3 x limes
  • Gummy worm sweets


Put all the ingredients except the gummy worms into a punch bowl (or large glass bowl) and give it a stir.  Drape the worms all the way round the edge of the bowl.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

A festive way of getting the kids to start trying pumpkin:


1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup fat-free milk
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
sprinkle of nutmeg


Combine all the ingredients except the nutmeg in a blender or food processor, blend until smooth and pour into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg





 From EastEnders to Gavin & Stacey, Larry Lamb, 67, has established himself as one of Britain’s best-loved actors. He’s now turning documentary maker to indulge his pleasure of becoming absorbed in the past, and has fronted a new Channel Five historical documentary series, Rome: The World’s First Superpower. He’s here to tell us all about swapping Albert Square for Ancient Rome!


To celebrate the midst of Autumn we’ll be talking to the president of the RSPB Miranda Krestovnikoff chats with Alan about the best places to go in the UK to soak up the season, and the changes in plant life in your garden and in the great outdoors.


Well-known chef and cookery writer Tom Parker Bowles has his fourth book Let’s Eat Meat out now. He’s here to show Alan his favourite cuts of meat, and what to look for when selecting your own cuts, and then he’ll cook a delicious dish of lamb shoulder with shallot, fennel and broad beans.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of The European Space Agency and next year, in a historical step for the United Kingdom, Major Tim Peake will become the first British astronaut to fly under the union flag. Today, Alan will chat to Libby Jackson about the ISS and how technology from space is used in our everyday lives. Joining Libby will be astonromer Mark Thompson.


Now that it is getting colder, wetter, and it feels as though it’s officially autumn, there’s an entire historical vault of drinks and concoctions that are tailor made to warm us up.  Helen McGinn will tell us about her favourites and the contemporary versions!


 Hot toddy with a twist – made with bourbon and ginger

1 x lemon

Bourbon: Wood Reserve, RRP: £31, widely available

Fresh ginger

Method: Peel and slice the ginger, adding a slice to each glass. Slice the lemon into quarters. In heatproof glasses add a slice of ginger and a teaspoon of honey. Top with boiling water, squeeze in the lemon juice from a quarter slices into each glass, leaving rind in glass when done. Add a shot of Bourbon and leave to steep for five minutes.


Mulled cider has been drunk during the cold seasons at least as long as mulled wine.  It is perhaps the descendant of a much older drink called wassail, which dates back to the 1400s.  Wassail is made from roasted apples, ale and spices, and was served in pewter or silver bowls.  The bowl would be passed around at gatherings with the greeting “Wassail.”  The word comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’.

More contemporary twist on this is mulled cider

2 x 500ml bottles of cider: Western’s Old Rosie, RRP £5.99, widely available

1 x star anise

1 x stick of cinnamon

6 x cloves stuck into half an orange

2 x tablespoons honey

Slug of Fino Sherry: Tio Pepe Fino, RRP £9.99, widely available

1 x Cox’s apple cut into slices

Method: put everything except the chopped apple in the pot and gently heat for 10-15mins without boiling. Add slices of apple for last 2 mins. Ladle into glasses and serve warm.


Helen’s new take on the traditional hot chocolate is a boozy hot chocolate with Frangelico

2 x cups of milk

1 x cup of double cream

2 x tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder or drinking chocolate powder (Green & Blacks hot chocolate powder is great)

Frangelico liqueur: RRP £16.99, available from selected retailers

Sugar to taste

Handful of mini marshmallows

Method: Warm milk in the pan; add the cream and chocolate powder, whisk until mixed. Add in generous slug of Frangelico (about 50ml), a tablespoon of sugar and stir. Pour into big mugs and add a handful of marshmallows on top.


The new fad of coffee which is laced with butter, it’s been thought that it is essentially a meal replacement, designed to boost cognitive function and increase energy levels.

1 cup of hot freshly brewed coffee

1 Tablespoon of grass-fed butter or ghee

1 Tablespoon of MCT oil

Method: Prepare the coffee, scaling the recipe up to suit your needs.

Pour hot coffee into a blender. Add the grass-fed butter and coconut oil, plus any extras like spices or sweetener if preferred.

Blend for 30 seconds until frothy and creamy (use caution when using a blender with hot liquids).




With thanks to:

SMART / NOSTALGIA for the Retro Pop Up Hot Dog Toaster


Firebox for the Sushi Bazooka


The Gift Oasis for the Gama Go Say Cheese Polaroid Slicer  (

Root 7 for the Chillsner


Prepara for the Mini Herb Saver Pod


Philips for the Air Fryer Advance XL



With thanks to:


Butler’s gin

For more information please visit

City of London Dry Gin

For more information please visit

Caorunn Scottish Gin

For more information please visit

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

For more information please visit

Williams Chase Seville Orange Gin

For more information please visit

Warner Edwards Sloe Gin





Nicholas Parsons, 90, is quite simply one of the enduring treasures of British broadcasting. Dubbed ‘the ultimate game show host’, a mainstay of TV and radio broadcasting for seven decades, Nicholas is still as busy as ever, with his Radio Four show Just A Minute still going strong with him at the helm after almost 50 years! Nicholas has recently written a book about the show and he is here to tell us all about it!



Technology columnist Olly Mann talks us through the latest craze of wearable technology and what is on the market for our audience to get their hands on.

Digitsole (RRP £95 and available from selected stores in January) offers a sleek, lightweight design, and incorporates a chargeable USB port, that once switched on, will connect your insoles to a dedicated app. Through the companion app, available to Android, iOS and Windows Phone users, a simple slider allows you to adjust the temperature of each individual shoe, as well as getting feedback from your day on paces, calories burned, altitude and more.

Fitbit Flex (RRP £79.99, widely available) is a wristband that tracks your activity, syncing with your Smartphone or computer to track the steps you’ve taken, calories you’ve burned and even the amount of type you’ve slept.

Barclaycard BPay (Available next year) is a new wearable wristband which allows you to pay for small purchases using near-field communication without taking your wallet out your pocket

samsung-gear-2-neo-mwc-2014-9_610x458Samsung Gear 2 Neo Watch (RRP £69.99 from selected retailers) Apple Watch is worth a mention, though it is not released until 2015.  Samsung watches are already onto their second generation and are essentially companion devices, allowing you to accept or ignore incoming calls and messages, and providing notification options based on your activity and habits.   Could demonstrate pedometer or heart rate monitor

Glofaster R jacket:  (RRP £299, available in October from This jacket syncs with a runner’s Smartphone and then uses flashing lights to indicate whether they are running at the right pace.  The jacket is waterproof and breathable, and created by an ex-marine and features zip-off lighting strips; it works with an app that tracks a person’s performance, which looks at biofeedback and set goals.

Google Glass (Explorer Edition available now, RRP £1,000 from Google Play Store) – is effectively a hands-free computer that projects internet-powered information on to spectacles.

Fetch by GoPro (RRP £59.99, widely available) a wearable camera for a dog. The Fetch dog harness has two mount locations for HERO cameras – one on the back for over-the-head shots and another on the chest for a field of view closer to all the action.


Fergus Drennan is mad about mushrooms. He is a wild food experimentalist and educator, who runs regular full day total immersion foraging courses for the general public and privately. He has written regularly on wild food and foraging for BBC Countryfile Magazine, The Ecologist, Country Kitchen, Bushcraft and Survival Skills magazine, as well as contributing and/or featuring in many other magazines including most national newspapers.

Between 2013 and 2014, he underwent his biggest challenge to date, which was to survive for the entire year on a diet of 100% wild sourced food

You can find details about his foraged book project here: 

Facts about mushrooms

One of the only natural sources of vitamin D and contains more protein and potassium than most vegetables but virtually no salt

The stem of a mushroom is a good source of flavour and nutrients so there is no need to remove it.

Mushrooms are best stored unwashed in brown paper bags in the refrigerator, preferably on the lowest shelf. Alternatively use a cloth bag or clean tea towel to wrap them.

The world’s largest producer of edible mushrooms is China which produces about half of all cultivated mushrooms.

Mycophagist is the term used for people who collect mushrooms to eat from the wild. The act of collecting these mushrooms is known as ‘mushroom hunting’, or ‘mushrooming’.

There are approximately 70 miles of mushroom roots (mycelium) in one square inch of colonized organic matter, such as a decomposing tree trunk.

The Honey Mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae) is the world’s largest known organism, covering 2,384 acres (nearly four square miles) of soil in Oregon’s Blue Mountains. The fungus is estimated to be 2,400 years old but could be as ancient as 8,650 years.

The antibiotic penicillin was derived from the fungal species Penicillium.



Gino D’Acampo is here to talk about his new book ‘Gino’s Italian Escape’ as well as his new prime-time cookery series by the same name. Later, he’ll be helping Alan rustle up a delicious meal which includes some fresh seasonal mushrooms…


THE TV SERIES (on this Friday at 8pm on ITV)

Gino’s new prime-time series Gino’s Italian Escape sees him returning to his homeland of Italy where his love of food originated from.


HIS NEW BOOK (out now)

His new book which accompanies the series goes under the same name and holds 100 Easy Italian Recipes to Enjoy at Home; soups, stews, breads, seafood, side, salads and desserts. He also discusses the difference between the Northern and Southern Italian regions, their tastes in food, the cost of food and their relationship with each other.


Scaloppine d’agnello ai funghi e vino bianco (Lamb)

Place the lamb medallions between two layers of cling film and bat out with a metal mallet until they are about 2mm thick. Set aside.

 Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and fry the garlic and rosemary for 30 seconds. Add in the mushrooms and continue to fry for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mushrooms on a warm plate and set aside. Wipe the frying pan with kitchen paper, ready to be used again.

Season the escallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat each escalope in the flour and shake any excess. Place the frying pan back to a medium heat and pour in 4 tablespoons of oil. Fry the lamb escallops for 1 minute on each side. Pour in the wine and cook for a minute, allowing the alcohol to evaporate. Add in the mushroom mixture, stir in the stock and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.  Stir in the butter for 30 seconds to thicken the sauce.

Place the scallops in the middle of a warm serving plate, top with the wild mushrooms and pour over the juices from the pan.

Serve immediately with lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Patate piccanti (Potato Salad)

Place the potatoes, unpeeled, in a medium size saucepan and cover with water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.  Insert a knife into the centre of each potato. If they are soft, they are cooked. Remove from the heat and slice into 1 cm discs. Place in a bowl while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

 Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the garlic and chilli. Fry for 3 minutes or until the garlic starts to colour. Take off the heat then pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Pour over the potatoes and season with salt.

Add in the parsley and gently mix all together.





To determine if the fruit is ready to be picked, lift and gently twist apple; if it doesn’t come away easily in your hand, then it’s not ready to pick.

As a rule of thumb, apples that ripen later in the year will store for longer than the early varieties.

Slight insect damage on the skin is harmless, but don’t store any bruised fruit as they may rot and infect other fruits.

Apples need a cool, frost-free environment, where they can last for weeks, even months in winter. A garage or garden shed is perfect.

Take a good look at each apple and give it a quick clean with a cloth.

Wrap the apples loosely in newspaper, and sit them on a seed tray or shelf.

Check them periodically over winter and remove any which show signs of rotting.



To make the sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened and slightly brown.  Add the turmeric, curry powder and ketchup and stir through.  Add the stock, water, soy sauce and apples, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the cornflour paste and cook for a further 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened.  Blend with a hand blender or process in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Set aside until needed.

While the sauce is cooking, wrap the chicken breasts loosely in cling film and flatten with a rolling pin or a meat tenderizer.

Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls.  Dust each chicken breast with the seasoned flour, then dip in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Reheat the katsu sauce gently and serve with the chicken and some plain, boiled rice.



Helen will be comparing traditional and new versions of ciders, pale ales and porters. Some of the beers are “craft” beers, meaning they come from small or independent breweries make the product as a passion or a hobby as much as a business.


In UK law, cider it must contain at least 35% apple juice (fresh or from concentrate), although some say that “real cider” must be at least 90% fresh apple juice.

Traditional:  Sheppy’s oak matured vintage cider.  RRP:  £2.10

Sheppy’s are an independent family-run cider-making business with 200 years of cider making behind them.  They have been at Three Bridges Farm near Taunton for the last 100 years, and it is from there that they make all their ciders from home-grown and bought-in cider apples.

Sheppy’s Oak Matured Vintage Cider has won many awards and is their most popular cider.  It is made with home-grown apples and is matured in oak.   It’s most recent success was to get into the top 50 of the Great Taste Awards.

New:  Hogan’s Medium Cider.  RRP: £2.20

Allen Hogan started the business in 2005 when he turned his 25 year cider making hobby into a full time business.  They are a small but growing craft cider and Perry producer. Since 2005, the business has grown both in the UK and abroad. They have won numerous prizes for their ciders and Perry, 11 in the past 12 months. They also won the Royal Bath & West Cider Competition (reputedly the largest cider competition in the world attracting around 500 entrants) for 2 consecutive years with their Medium Cider.



Porter is a very dark ale named after the Porters who ran around the streets of London in the 18th century, and it’s great with a plate of roast beef!

Traditional:  Guinness Dublin Porter and West Indies Porter.  RRP: £2.20

Guinness has just announced the release of two new beers, inspired by authentic recipes from Guinness brewers’ historic diaries from 1796 and 1801.  Guinness Dublin Porter and Guinness West Indies Porter are the first releases from a new brewing project at the St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin. ‘The Brewers Project’ gives Guinness’ enterprising brewers license to collaborate, reinterpret old recipes and explore new ones.

New:  Brewdog’s Brixton Porter. RRP:  £1.95 per 330ml bottle

Brewdog is the world’s first ever crowd funded brewery and the project is only a reality because of all the “Equity Punks” who invested in the company.  Helen says “they shook up the whole industry”.  The brewery started in Aberdeen and that still remains their HQ.  The company value the basics of beer and are strict that they only use four ingredients: water, hops, malt, and yeast.  Brewdog use 35 times more hops than the average brewery, they add more flavour, bitterness and aroma.  They also only use brown bottles, as a clear bottle allow UV in and damages it. Brewdog say “people that do this don’t give a damn.”



Pale ale is a beer made by warm fermentation using predominantly pale malt.  The higher proportion of pale malts results in a lighter colour. The term “pale ale” first appeared around 1703 for beers made from malts dried with coke, which resulted in a lighter colour than other beers popular at that time.

Traditional:  Meantime’s Indian Pale Ale.  RRP:  £5.35 per 750 ml bottle

Meantime Brewery is a modern brewery in Greenwich and located near the docks where they used to ship original Indian pale ales from in the 19th century.   Meantime is a modern take on traditional values.  They are one of the first modern craft breweries in London, est. in 1999.  The beer is sold in champagne bottles and they are the only British brewery capable of packaging beer this way.  Meantime has the largest investment in craft brewing in London since 1930. “For us we’ve found it’s usually around six weeks to brew a batch of beer, but it’s an art not science.”

New:  Beaverton Gammaray American Pale Ale.  RRP:  £4.50 a can

Beavertown was the old cockney name given to the historic Beauvoir area, famed across Victorian London for its rich characters and infinite revelry.  Their brewery was set up in December 2011 in Hackey and has recently moved to Tottenham.  Gammaray American pale ale is “big, hoppy and fresh.”  Juicy American hops added in ever increasing amounts at the

End of the boil and in the fermenter give huge flavour and aroma.


Helen really rates Chillsner from Root 7, the perfect piece for any party, the Chillsner is the first ever in-bottle beer chiller you can drink through. Crafted from stainless steel and inserted into any beer bottle, Chillsner delivers a smooth flow of perfectly chilled beer with every sip.  (*Must put in freezer for an hour before*)

Mr Beer (RRP from £34.99) is a brand new revolutionary home beer brewing kit. It makes 13 UK pints and there are about 14 standard beers in the range, but if you add different hops and other ingredients such as dried Elderflower or Orange Peel, the number of different types of beer you can make is limitless.  Each kit is completely reusable.



Quite possibly Britain’s best-loved husband and wife duo, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee have earned their place firmly in the nation’s affections.  They’re ready to get back on the road, bringing their unique brand of magic and illusion to theatre near you! They’ll be lifting the lid on their upcoming ‘Back Despite Popular Demand’ tour!

Tour dates:


Evita is back in the West End! Playing unlikely heroine Eva Peron, the role made famous by Elaine Paige and Madonna, is Madalena Alberto. She’s here to perform the legendary track from the musical, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.


Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita has returned to London’s West End at the Dominion Theatre for a limited run of 55 performances. It opened on 16th September.

Former Wet Wet Wet frontman Marti Pellow plays Che, newcomer Madalena Alberto is in the title role and TV talent show ‘Superstar’ winner Ben Forster is Agustin Magaldi.


19th September

Aldo’s Dish

Pan Fried Sea Bass With A Courgette And Aubergine Stew:

1 red onion diced

1 red pepper diced

1 aubergine diced

1 courgette diced

1tbsp sugar

2tbsp balsamic Vinegar

1tbsp tomato purée

About 250ml water

2 seabass fillets

1 bunch basil

2 skinned and deseeded tomatoes, chopped

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Sweat all vegetables in hot oil. Add sugar and vinegar and cook out. Add tomato purée and cook out. Pour in water and let it simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Fry fish in olive oil skin side down.

Mix chopped basil, lemon juice, diced tomato and olive oil to make a dressing.

Plate stew tipped with fried fish and finally dress with basil and tomato dressing

Helen McGinn’s Italian Wines

The perfect Pinot Grigio to go with Aldo’s dish: Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Pinot Grigio, £8.00:

Helen explains that “you want the wine to have flavour but not so much that it over powers Aldo’s dish. It smells like white peaches and it is really refreshing.”

An Italian alternative to Pinot Grigio: Tesco Finest Nero D’Avola Rosé, £5.99:

Another Italian Grape: Aldi Venturer Series Vermentino 2013, £4.99 (CURRENTLY £4.79 ON OFFER)

If you like Pinot Grigio but want to try a different grape, Helen recommends Aldi’s Vermentino as it has lots of flavor and smells of pine nuts. It’s also more fruity than Pinot Grigio.


Facts About Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is the third most popular white wine in the UK after Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Ten years ago, Pinot Grigio was on every pizza restaurant wine list before it made it onto supermarket shelves.

It is easy to drink and usually not too expensive.

It is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape and Chardonnay’s cousin!

Also known as Pinot Gris (originally from Alsace), it is usually fruitier & richer in style.

Pinot Grigio is grown all over northern Italy – in Veneto, Friuli and Alto Adige.

The Italian style of Pinot Grigio is usually lighter, with lemon and lime flavours.

It should be served cold (8-10 degrees).

The Wakefield butcher who made the special pork pie for Jane McDonald this week was Nigel Hofman, the oldest established butchers in Wakefield!


Thanks also to the team at Wakefield Visitor Centre for the other Wakefield goodies!



It’s a humdinger of a show!  Not only do we have the spirit of Frank Sinatra in a special performance, but we also have the screen icon, ex Bond Roger Moore. There’s also the gorgeous Tamzin Outhwaite and our own special tribute to game shows of old, starting with Give Us a Clue with one of the original team captains, Lionel Blair. Oh – and there’s cookery and wine included.


Roger Moore




1.6 kg/3lb 8oz, lamb shoulder boned & rolled

Fine salt and freshly pepper

2 tbsp. olive

6 kg/3lb 8 thinly sliced onions

1 sprig of thyme

1 tbls sherry vinegar

Several finely chopped anchovies

½ stock pot cube

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley



Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the oil in a large, lidded casserole dish until hot. Place the lamb shoulder into the casserole dish, turn down the heat and color well on all sides, until golden-brown. Lift out the meat and remove all fat from the dish with a spoon.

Add half of the onions to make a bed of onions on which to rest the lamb and add the lamb back into to the dish. Tuck in the thyme and anchovies and cover with the remaining onions.

Cut a circle of greaseproof paper slightly bigger than the diameter of the dish. Dampen it, lightly grease one side, and press it onto the onions (greased side down). Put on the lid cook in the oven for about three hours. After an hour, remove the dish to see whether the onion mixture has reduced and to check that the natural juices are running. Scrape down the side of the dish if the onions have stuck. Replace the paper and lid and place the dish into the oven again.

After about three hours of cooking (check after another hour), push a skewer into the lamb to see how tender it is; there should be little resistance. Lift out the meat, put it into a small roasting tin and cover with foil. Turn down the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1, and return the meat to the oven while you finish the onions.

Drain the onions, reserving the cooking juices. Put the onions back into the casserole. Remove any fat that has settled on the surface of the cooking juices. Pour the liquid back in with the onions,

Add ½ stockpot jelly cube and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced but 1/2, Stir in the vinegar and parsley.

Season the onions to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Slice the lamb and serve with onions and juices.



1 pound small zucchini

10 ounces cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons chopped mint

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ to ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

Juice of ½ a lemon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste



Wash zucchini.

Cut them in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise into rough pieces of about ¾ inch.

Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze out some of the seeds and juice.

Peel the garlic and cut into slivers.

Chop mint and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

When hot, add zucchini and garlic, stirring to combine.

When zucchini begins to brown, add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir well, then cook 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add mint.

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil,

Cover squeeze over ½ lemon juice  and set aside at least 10 minutes before serving.


What drinks to bring to a party…

Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, £15.99, widely available.

Helen says, “Did you know the First Fleet took vines to Australia back in 1788 but it was a Scotsman, James Busby, who first took vines from France and Spain 40 years later. He’s widely regarded as the ‘father’ of Australian wines! This is a real show off bottle and will surely impress.”

As Caixas Godello 2013, Martin Codax, £9.99 Majestic.

“Tucked away in a corner of Galicia in the North West of Spain is the warm, dry Monterrei region where the aromatic Godello grape thrives. It is deliciously aromatic and full of pear fruit and will get the mouth watering and the appetite up! Great on it’s own with nibbles or can match up to most fish or lighter chicken or pasta dishes.”


What to serves with nibbles – bubbles!

Les Pionniers Vintage – Co-op £24.99. “This held up against of 650 different bubblies from 16 countries in the recent Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships.”

Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco £10.00 Sainsbury

“A good value prosecco with lovely fruity flavour.”


Ridgeview Marksman Blanc de Blancs, £26.00, M&S. “If you want to say ‘I’m adventurous’ serve an English Sparkling Wine. Soils in southern England are not unlike the famous chalk soils of the Champagne region. Now that we’ve got the right grapes planted (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, same as used to make Champagne) we are making so-called traditional method (meaning bottle fermented) sparkling wines that are winning awards at international wine competitions.”

(for those not so into the bubbles..)

Meantime India Pale Ale 750ml £5.35 Meantime Brewing Company. “India Pale Ale is the beer that sustained the British Raj – it did not just survive the passage to India, it matured to perfection on the long voyage. Original IPA was heavily hopped – up to twice as much as domestic beers – and so Meantime use plenty of Kent Fuggles and Goldings to help re-create the flavours of the world’s first great pale beer style. It is magnificent with Indian cuisine or English cheese.”

Decanting Wine

Helen thinks Ed’s main course dish that he just prepared from the previous item would be lovely with a red. Out comes the Coonawarra and Helen quickly sticks on a ‘DRINK NOW!’ label!

Helen explains the art of decanting and why it enhances the wine. Three different decanters are presented and all vary in terms of price, size and shape. Helen talks through them and how they work differently.

LSA Carafe, RRP £30 widely available

“Brilliant shape, with a wide base allowing lots of air to reach the wine and aerate it properly. Solid too, so feels great to hold and looks fab on the table. Glass, mouth-blown, made in Poland.”

Dartington Crystal Chateauneuf Decanter, £100,

“Made by last remaining crystal glass manufacturer in UK, this is a classic shape, with room to swill the wine and sealable too.”


Riedel Curly Pink Decanter £325

“Shaped like a pig’s curly tail, the idea is that the wine gets a real aerating and is so much fun to watch. Supposedly, it’s compact so won’t take up too much space in the cupboard (although at over £300 I wouldn’t keep this is in a cupboard, I’d keep it in a glass case)!”

Helen’s tip-  “If you’ve got a smart wine but don’t have a decanter, simply pour the wine out into a jug no more than an hour before you plan to drink it and pour it back into the bottle. Most wines nowadays won’t have sediment, but decanting it just gives the wine a chance to breathe, opening up the aromas and mellowing the flavours.”


Details of previous features on The Alan Titchmarsh Show from series 14:

Our beautiful set this series includes :
Gorgeous White Table and Chairs supplied by
Kitchen equipment with thanks to
Faux flowers supplied by

Friday 14th March 2014

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Amazing Engelbert Humperdink

Engelbert Humperdink

Music legend Engelbert Humperdinck has captivated audiences for over 50 years. He is on the show to talk about his star studded new duet album and will perform the Bob Dylan Classic ‘Make You Feel My Love’.

This is Engelbert’s 80th album and comes forty seven years after his number one single, ‘Release Me’.

The album features brand new recordings of classic tracks with some of the biggest and best voices; all handpicked by Engelbert himself.  

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Rufus Hound and Samantha Bond in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Rufus Hound and Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond and Rufus Hound are currently causing mayhem and mischief in ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ – the latest show to hit the West End.

The UK premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has been running at The Manchester Opera House and Aylesbury Waterside Theatre and on Monday this week (10th March) opened at The Savoy Theatre, London.

Based on the classic comedy film starring Sir Michael Caine and Steve Martin, the musical is set in the French Riviera and its decadent underworld. It follows the story of rival con-men Lawrence and Freddy, played by Robert Lindsey and Rufus Hound, who compete for action in a swanky French coastal resort where wealthy women mean rich pickings.

For ticket information for the Savoy Theatre, click here

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Ben Miller appearing in The Duck House

Ben Miller

Comedian and actor Ben Miller has come a long way from parading through the underground comedy clubs with pal Alexander Armstrong. He is on the show to talk about his current comical role as a corrupt politician in the West End hit ‘The Duck House’.

Ben is currently leading an all-star cast in the West End comedy ‘The Duck House’, a new play based on the 2009 expenses scandal.  The show also stars Olivier Award winning actress Nancy Carroll, Debbie Chazen, James Musgrave, Simon Shepherd and XFactor finalist Diana Vickers.

The Duck House first toured the UK from October till November last year and started at the Vaudeville Theatre on the 10th December. The show is scheduled to run till Saturday 29th March 2014.

For ticket info click here

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett

Steve Hewlett

With 21 years experience as a ventriloquist Steve Hewlett came to the public’s attention in 2013 when he came 4th in Britain’s Got Talent. He joins us to explain the art of ventriloquism, as well as introducing us to some of his favourite characters. 

Steve is currently on his first ever Nationwide Theatre Tour with his show ‘Thinking Inside the Box’ which runs till August. The show is aimed at all ages and audiences get to meet a number of Steve’s famous characters.

Steve performs up to 200 shows a year including panto season and admits that even when he isn’t performing he sometimes can’t help but use his ventriloquism skills and he does a routine about this in his show.

For ticket information, click here 

Food and Drink

Sorry, no fishcake recipe yet.

Black Velvet Cocktail

  • Ingredients – Guinness, Champagne (Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne £19.99)
    Take one flute glass, fill half with Guinness and top up with Champagne

Irish Coffee

  • Ingredients – 1 cupful of strong, hot, black coffee, 1 tsp sugar, 1 measure whisky (Jameson’s Irish Whiskey £22.50), 1 small carton double cream
  • Take a wine glass and fill half way with coffee to desired strength, add the sugar and stir
  • Add the whisky and stir, then pour layer of double cream, over the back of a teaspoon, on top

Irish Hot Chocolate

  • Ingredients – Hot chocolate, Irish Cream Liqueur (Ballycastle Irish Cream Liqueur £4.29), whipped cream
  • Pour in desired measure of Irish Cream, followed by hot chocolate and finished with a dollop (or squirt) of whipped cream
    Sprinkle chocolate flakes on top!
The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Wine Expert Helen McGinn

Wine with Helen McGinn

Falanghina Beneventano IGT – M&S

  • £38.94 for 6 – £6.49 per bottle


Heredad del Rey reservada Yecla – Waitrose

  • £6.66 until April 1st

Friday 7th March 2014

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Elaine Paige Tour

Elaine Paige

Star of stage and screen Elaine Paige OBE is celebrating her 50th anniversary in show business with her farewell tour, ‘Page by Page by Paige’.

Today she joins us to talk about the tour, her new album, the 10th anniversary of her Radio 2 show and her brand new programme on Sky Arts, ‘The Elaine Paige Show’. 

For full tour details, visit


The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Diana Quick appearing in The Big Meal

Diana Quick

With a career on stage and screen spanning over 40 years, Diana Quick is best known for her role of Lady Julia Flyte in the 1981 period drama, ‘Brideshead Revisited.’

Today Diana joins us to talk about her latest theatre venture ‘The Big Meal’ which sees her playing multiple characters throughout, mixed in with a whole host of meals.

The Big Meal is on at the Theatre Royal, Bath, until 5th April. For more information on The Big Meal, click here.

Food and Drink

Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – £7.49 

This is a fresh white, crisp wine. It is made in New Zealand and has fresh cut grass aromas and gooseberry flavours.

Tesco Finest Domaine de Sours £7.99

This rose is from Bordeaux and has great juicy plum and redcurrant fruit flavours. This wine will go really well with the spice in the pad thai.

Singha Thai Beer £1.98

This is beer has been brewed in Thailand since 1933 and is a great light beer to go with the strong flavours of the pad thai dish.

Friday 28th February 2014
The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Robert Bathurst

Robert Bathurst

From ‘Cold Feet’ to ‘Downton Abbey’, Robert Bathurst has played a variety of roles on both screen and stage. He is on the show to talk about his reprised role in the new series of Blandings and his 30 years in show business.

The BBC show, which is in its second series, started on the 16th February and will air every Sunday till the 30th March. It is set in 1929, in the fictional Blandings Castle, home to a chaotic family struggling to keep itself in order.

Robert is back to reprise his role as Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe who is the rival and enemy of Clarence. The show is based on the short stories ‘Blandings Castle and Elsewhere’ by P.G Wodehouse which was published in 1935.

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Bonnie Langford

Bonnie Langford

One of Britain’s best loved actors and entertainers  Bonnie Langford has had a glittering career, first gracing our screens at the early age of 6 before going on to star in well known classics such as Cats and Chicago.

Bonnie is here to talk about the upcoming Dancing on Ice Tour and also her return to Spamalot at The Playhouse Theatre.

The four week Dancing On Ice UK tour starts on the 28th March in Manchester and will travel to London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Birmingham, culminating in Leeds on the 27th April. Fans will see their favourite skating couples competing live for the judges’ votes and the audience can use their mobile phones to text vote for their favourite celebrity to win.

For full tour details, click here.

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Nadia cooking up a storm
Photo Courtesy Rex Features

Nadia’s St. David’s Day Pie

Ham and chicken pie
6 chicken thighs
450g piece of smoked gammon
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
3 sticks of celery
Place all of the above ingredients into a large pan, cover with water, and simmer for 1 hour. Leave to cool. Remove the pieces of meat and shred into large chunks. Strain the remaining stock, discarding the vegetables, but keeping the liquid.
80g butter
2 leeks, chopped into 2 cm pieces
80g flour
4tbso chopped parsley
500g puff pastry rolled out into a large rectangle
1 egg
Cook the leeks in the butter until soft. Add the flour and stir to combine, continue cooking for 1 minute.
 Add 500ml of stock and stir in. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
Add in chopped meat and parsley, and mix to combine.
Pour mixture into the base of a pie dish. Cover with the rolled puff pastry and glaze with the egg.
Bake in the oven at 190 for about 35mins until pastry is cooked through and deep golden.
The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Wine Expert Helen McGinn

Wine with Helen McGinn

Barrymore Pinot Grigio £26.50 –

2010 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir £30 –

Coppolla Rosso & Bianco Chardonnay £13.49 –

Newman’s Own Cabernet Sauvignon £22.50 –


Ancre Hill Estates – Pinot Noir
Welshman’s Caviar – from The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company –
Welsh Dragon Pâté – from Patchwork Pâté ––
Hafod Cheese –


Argentinian Torrontes from Waitrose, normally £7.99 down to £6.39

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Helen George appearing in The Hotel Plays

Friday 21st February 2014

Helen George

Currently starring as Trixie Franklin in the smash hit drama Call the Midwife, Helen George is a hugely successful actress in theatre, TV and film. She joins us today to talk about her current role in The Hotel Plays at The Langham Hotel and the huge success of Call the Midwife.

The Hotel Plays

Based at The Langham Hotel, The Hotel Plays is a trio of plays taking place in different rooms in one hotel. Over the course of one evening the audience are guided on an immersive journey throughout the historical corridors of The Langham Hotel to see each play performed in a different room, with a few unexpected moments along the way!

Running just over 90 minutes, The Hotel Plays is a uniquely staged revival of the British première production of plays by one of America’s greatest playwrights, Tennessee Williams.  This collection of plays includes: “Green Eyes”, “Sunburst” and “The Pink Bedroom”. The play runs until Saturday 8th March. For more information visit

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Frank Lampard’s Frankie’s Magic Football

Frank Lampard

Football Star Frank Lampard is hailed as one of England finest sportsmen but he has now decided to explore his more sensitive side as a children’s author. He is on the show today to talk about his book series ‘Frankie’s Magic Football’ and his passion to get youngsters reading.

Frankie’s Magic Football: The stories follow the adventures of a school boy, Frankie, his football-loving friends (Louise and Charlie) and pet dog Max as they battle villains from fantasy worlds and learn valuable lessons, both on and off the field.

Frank has dedicated the book series to his mother who died in 2008. She was always strict about his education which has lead to Frank’s desire to encourage his own daughters, Luna (8) and Isla (6), to read. His dedication at the beginning of the book reads “To my mum Pat, who encouraged me to do my homework between kicking a ball all around the house, and is still with me every step of the way.”


The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Aussie comedian
Adam Hills

Adam Hills

Adam Hills has achieved international acclaim as one of the world’s best stand up comics. Having won a number of awards and a legion of fans, the one legged, Aussy presenter joins us to talk about the current series of ‘The Last Leg’.

The Last Leg

Currently in its third series, ‘The Last Leg’ has always been met by rave reviews because of its light hearted and witty take, on disabilities.  Originally running alongside the London 2012 Paralympics, the show is now running alongside the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics and Adam hosts the live weekly show alongside fellow stand-up comic, Josh Widdicombe and disabled TV presenter, Alex Brooker.

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Wine Expert Helen McGinn

Wine club with Helen McGinn

Lustau East India Solera Sherry 50cl, £9.99, Waitrose

  • Gorgeous sweet sherry made from a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez
  • Blended and then aged in American oak barrels
  • Made by one of best Sherry producers, Lustau – legendary award-winning winemakers
  • Flavours of fig, coffee, mocha and raisins

Bargain of the Week :

Aldi Exquisite Collection Malbec, £5.99, Aldi

  • 100% Malbec from the Uco region in Mendoza, Argentina
  • This is Argentina’s calling card – full-bodied with black fruits and spice

Works best with roasted red meats (but sitting by fire with a bowl of crisps good too)!

For more information on Helen, visit her blog at

Bucks Fizz

Champagne – Lidl’s Comte de Brismand, £12.99

Fresh Orange Juice

Bloody Mary

Tomato Juice – Big Tom – £2.49 75cl

Vodka, black pepper, celery salt, Worcester sauce, tobacco, horseradish, Fino Sherry, celery stick

Tea Pigs matcha green tea

A super-concentrated green tea powder

From the Nishio region in Japan where the tea leaves are grown under cover to produce lots of amino acids and chlorophyll (the bright green good stuff)

Friday 14th February 2014

Ian McShane

The Alan Titchmarsh Show
Ian McShane in Cuban Fury

Lovejoy himself, Ian McShane, joins us on the show to talk about his latest role in ‘Cuban Fury’ the much anticipated salsa themed rom-com that hits cinemas today. He stars as Nick Frost’s hardnosed macho salsa coach who whips him back into shape after 25 years away from the dance floor.

Born in Blackburn to parents Irene and Harry McShane, a soccer player for Manchester United, Ian originally planned to follow in his father’s ‘footballer’ steps, until his high school teacher encouraged him to be an actor.

Ian landed a spot at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where, just before graduation, he got his first break, the lead role in The Wild and the Willing in 1962 he later revealed that he had told his acting teacher that he had a dentist’s appointment and ditched class to audition for the role.

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Dervla Kirwan appears in The Weir

Dervla Kirwan

Dervla Kirwan has had a varied career, from famously starring in Ballykissangel to roles in British favourites such as Goodnight Sweetheart and Doctor Who. 13 years ago she met her husband whilst starring in The Garrick’s Dangerous Corner, and now she has returned to the West End to star in the award winning play The Weir at The Wyndhams theatre.

The play is a modern Irish classic with much suspense, humanity and observations on Irish cultural identity; most pointedly in the complicated ways we conceal and reveal ourselves through the narratives we create.

In an isolated pub on the west coast of Ireland, four men are gathering for a session, where their boasts are matched by their pints. The arrival of a stranger in their midst – a woman – spurs them to impress her with their story-telling. For more info and ticket prices, check out The Weir website 

Sirloin Steak with Pink Peppercorn Sauce, Green Salad and Shoestring Fries

Serves 2

2 x 250g sirloin steaks

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

2 x banana shallots, peeled, chopped softened in 25g unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed

50mls brandy

100mls beef stock

100mls double cream


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

50g mixed green salad leaves

1 x pack of asparagus tips, blanched

25g toasted flaked almonds


Cuvée Rose by Bolney Estate
Available from for £24.99.
Champagne Cocktail:
Sloe Royale (Prosecco, Sloe Gin and a sprinkle of edible glitter)
Prosecco: Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Extra Dry, £7.29, Aldi
Sloe Gin: Helen is using her own homemade Sloe Gin.
Edible Glitter: Available online and in many shops.
Chocoholic Pinotage, £11.00
Available from online retailers.

Strawberries dipped in chocolate- Cuvée Rose by Boloney Estate

  • Available from for £24.99.
  •  Made from 100% Pinot Noir in the traditional method (as in, same way that Champagne is made with second fermentation in the bottle).
  •  Located in the South Downs, where soils are similar to those in Champagne.
  •  Winemaker Sam Linter’s parents founded the vineyard in 1972.

Carrot and Cardamom Aphrodisiac Ice Cream -Champagne Cocktail

Sloe Royale (Prosecco, Sloe Gin and a sprinkle of edible glitter)
Prosecco: Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Extra Dry, £7.29, Aldi
Sloe Gin
Edible Glitter: Available online and in many shops.

  • It’s pink and very sparkly! And best of all, really great value and easy to make.
  • Edible glitter needs to be added to each glass (just a sprinkle) before serving.
  • Fill with dash of sloe gin & top up with Prosecco.
  • Serve in flute glasses or Champagne saucers

100 pcs Couture Chocolate Box by William Curley- Chocoholic Pinotage, £11.00

  • Made from the Pinotage grape in South Africa, a cross of Cinsault and Pinot Noir.
  • Made by a winery called Darling Cellars.
  • South African take on the ‘Appassimento’ wine styles of Italy.
  • Made using partially dried grapes giving the wine a sweet, raisiny character.


Friday 7th February 2014

Sophie Ellis Bextor

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Sophie Ellis Bextor

After reaching the final of Strictly Come Dancing last year, Sophie Ellis-Bextor joins us to talk about her latest album, Wanderlust.

The album marks a departure from her previous mostly disco focussed albums to an emotional brooding album that has been wowing critics, based around fairytales and Russian folklore. She will also be performing her latest single “Young Blood.”

Sophie will be on tour in April, for full tour details click here , and watch out for appearances at festivals throughout Summer 2014.

Jimmy Doherty

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Jimmy is by far one of the most famous farmers in the UK. Without any experience he turned a derelict farm into a booming rare pig breed farm and business.

He has now teamed up with school friend and world renowned chef Jamie Oliver and is on the show today to talk about their current show ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’ and Jimmy’s show ‘Food Unwrapped’.

Food Unwrapped is now in its third series but Jimmy joined in the second series. He presents the show with Kate Quilton and Matt Tebbut where combines his science Knowledge and love of food to investigate the secrets behind things that we eat every day. The three travel the world to discover what is really in our favourite foods and if it can harm you. “I have travelled from huge chicken factories in Poland to small artisan cafes in Europe and I enjoy every moment of it.”

Pigs provided by –

Honey, Marmalade and Beetroot cured bacon provided by Ludlow Food Centre – Available to buy here

Animal pens supplied by 

Nadia’s Cheese Fondue  with herb salad

 Serves 6


400g gruyere cheese, grated

300g strong cheddar cheese, grated

10g corn flour

1 large clove of garlic, peeled and bashed with the palm of your hand

300ml white wine, try and buy reasonable quality, it really will be worthwhile

150g cream cheese, at room temperature

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper

1tsp grain mustard

Juice of a lemon

8tbsp olive oil

1 bunch of parsley, leaves only

1 bunch of lovage, leaves only

1 bunch of chervil, small sprigs only

Handful of celery leaves

Crusty bread cut into cubes to serve


Place both grated cheeses along with the corn flour into a bowl, and toss around with your hands until the cheese is lightly coated with the flour.

Take your bashed piece of garlic and rub it all around the inside of your fondue pot. Really give it a good push to release some of the oils. Leave your pot in a warm place.

Pour the white wine into a large saucepan, and bring it to the boil. Reduce the temperature so that the wine is just boiling, and begin adding the grated cheese a little at a time, using a whisk, or a wooden spoon to work it into the boiling wine. Keep going until you have mixed all of the cheese into the wine. With the fondue over a very low heat whisk or stir the cream cheese into the fondue until you have a lovely, smooth mixture. Keep the mixture warm in your saucepan on a very low heat, stirring regularly until you’re ready to serve.

In the meantime make the salad by whisking together the grain mustard, lemon juice and olive oil, until you reach a smooth consistency. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Toss together all of your lovely leaves.

When ready to serve, pour the fondue into the warmed pot, and deliver to the table along with the dressing, salad, and a knowing wink.

Helen’s Wine for Cheese Fondue:

Caixas Albarino from Majestic, £9.99

(Or £7.99 when you buy 2).

A light, fresh and youthful wine, with a zesty and well defined citrus backbone, overlayed with subtle hints of stone fruits and nectar

Bargain wine of the week:

Bargain of the week: Chateau Talmont Bordeaux Blanc, £5, Asda.

This one looks really smart but a real snip at £5.

Wines to match your nibbles :

Cashew nuts: Villa Maria Riesling, £9.99, Waitrose
Olives: Tesco Finest Pecorino, £7.99, Tesco

Friday 31st January 2014

Bernard Cribbins

A real legend in the entertainment industry, Bernard Cribbins joins Alan today to look back on his career spanning 7 decades. A widely respected character actor, Bernard has appeared in many films and TV series over his 7 decades of acting, including the Carry On films and Hitchcock’s thriller Frenzy. Appearing in Doctor Who and Now Old Jack’s Boat Bernard’s fan base has broadened.

However, he is of course best known for his work in children’s TV, something that he says was never his plan: I’ve no idea why it happened. As an actor, you’re a labourer and you get engaged to do certain jobs. I was just asked to do some kids’ stuff.”

Bernard also had a taste of pop stardom after recording three successful novelty records and a number of folk songs in the early 1960s including top ten hits Hole in the Ground” and “Right Said Fred”. Both produced by legendary record producer George Martin “ before the Beatles got a hold of him”.

Another highlight for Bernard career was being awarded an OBE in 2011 for his for services to drama. He said; “I was Gobsmacked! You can’t go through life expecting to get prizes. You just get on with things, which is how it should be.” Bernard also won a Special Award at the Children’s Baftas presented to him by Catherine Tate.

Retirement is not a word in Bernard’s vocabulary the actor says; ‘What drives me? Poverty and the fact I still enjoy it! Retirement is a dirty word and in acting you don’t have to retire. You just carry on player older and older idiots.’

Fiona Bruce

Newsreader turned presenter Fiona Bruce is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive faces on TV. From BBC News, to Antiques Roadshow, Fiona appears on our screens turning her hand to a number of different presenting roles, and today she joins us to talk about the third series of BBC1’s Fake or Fortune, where works of art are tested for their authenticity. 

Drinks for Chinese New Year with Helen McGinn 

For more information on Helen’s Wine club, visit her blog

Chinese wine: Chateau Changyu Moser XV 2008, Ningxia, £39, Berry Bros

Tsingtao Beer – widely available (Tesco, Sainbury’s) 640ml £2.29, Tesco

Tesco Finest Pignoletto, £8.99, Tesco

Wine for the dessert – Hermit’s Hill Botrytis Semillon £7.99, M&S

Dim Sum Dumplings

Pork mince

Spring onions

Sesame oil

Soy sauce



Wonton wrappers

Red chilli

Rice wine vinegar

Soy sauce


Mix together pork mince, soy, sesame, spring onions, garlic and ginger. Spoon into wrappers and fold into dumplings. Heat oil in a frying pan, add dumplings, fry lightly, pour in a bit of water and put life on. Cook for 4mins. Serve with sauce made from mixing vinegar, soy and chopped red chilli



200g kumquats, de-seeded and chopped into quarters

Juice of 1 orange

200g jam sugar

200g gingernut biscuits

80g butter, melted

200g cream cheese

200g creme fraiche

2 egg whites

4tbsp caster sugar

4tbsp finely chopped stem ginger with syrup

Place the chopped kumquats into a pan and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the kumquats are soft. Drain the kumquats, and then place back into the saucepan with the orange juice and the jam sugar. Bring the whole lot to the boil and simmer for 4 minutes, before taking off the heat and leaving to cool to room temperature. When the jam is cool, place into a jar, and then refrigerate until needed.

Place the biscuits into a food processor, and blitz until you reach a breadcrumb consistency. With the machine still running add the melted butter. Spoon the buttered biscuits into the base of glasses to a depth of about 2cm.

Place the cream cheese, creme fraiche, and the chopped stem ginger into a bowl, and beat together until smooth.

Whisk the egg whites until light and frothy and doubled in size. Gradually add the sugar, whilst still whisking until all of the sugar has been incorporated into the egg whites. you should have a shiny and stiff meringue mix.

Beat a third of the egg whites into the creme fraiche mixture before gently folding through the remaining two thirds. Spoon this mixture on top of the biscuit base, ensuring you leave a 1 cm gap at top for the marmalade. Refrigerate the glasses for at least 30 minutes, before topping with the marmalade and serving.

With thanks to:

lakeland-logoLakeland for supplying Kitchenware

TG logoT & G Woodware Ltd for supplying chopping boards 



Beatles Auction

The next Auction will be held by Omega’s Auction House on Thursday 20th March 2014, 3.00pm at Meadow mill, in Stockport.

Friday 24th January 2014

Pam Ferris

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Alan is joined in the studio today by the very lovely Pam Ferris, sister Evangelina from Call The Midwife.

Call The Midwife was the biggest new drama series on BBC One in over a decade, and the second series regularly drew in audiences of over 10 million.

A new series of 8 episodes of the hit series will hit screens in 2014, and Pam talks to Alan about filming the Christmas special and what the new series may have in store for fans.

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Wine Expert Helen McGinn

Helen McGinn

Knackered mutha Helen is back for a new series with all the top tipple for your table.  This week, to mark Burns Night tomorrow (Sat. 25th January), Helen looks at a curious combination of haggis flavoured beer and malt whisky.

Tesco Finest Cherry Brandy 50cl – £9.50
Bargain of the week – Morrison’s Cono Sur Pinot Noir – £4.99
Haggis Flavoured Beer provided by the Comarty Brewing Company –
Macsween Traditional Haggis –

Arbrachan Triple Oak Matured Blended Malt, £17.99, Lidl
Laphroaig 10yo Single Malt Whisky, £29.50 –
The Snow Grouse, £20 –

Catch up with Helen’s blog at

Lorraine Pascale

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Joining Alan for our Friday Feast cookery item today will be Lorraine Pascale.

Lorraine Pascale’s route to cookery was full of twist and turns. Starting off her career as a model for the world’s biggest fashion houses, she later stepped off the runway and into the classroom to find her true calling. Dabbling with a range of courses, from hypnotherapy to car mechanics, it was not until enrolling at leading culinary school Leiths that she discovered and nurtured her knack for baking.

Prestigious kitchens at Petrus, the Mandarin Oriental, Gilgamesh and The Wolseley opened their doors to Lorraine before she decided to fly solo and launch an independent cake business, Cupcake House in Covent Garden.

Her career has continued to soar, with three successful cookery series, Baking Made Easy, Home Cooking Made Easy and Fresh, Fast and Easy as well as a Christmas special on BBC2, and further distributed internationally into 66 territories. 

Lorraine will be talking about her new book “Lorraine Pascale’s A Lighter Way To Bake” and her new show on Sky Living “My Kitchen Rules”.

Lorraine Pascale’s White Chocolate Cherry Torte – taken from A Lighter Way to Bake (above)

Serves 10

Equipment : 23cm round springform cake tin


Spray oil

150g white chocolate, snapped into small pieces

100g caster sugar

100g low-fat Greek yoghurt

75g unsalted butter, very soft

3 eggs, lightly beaten

175g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp kirsch for soaking the cake (optional)

Creme Fraiche Chantilly

200g low-fat creme fraiche

25g icing sugar, sifted

Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve

250g fresh cherries


Preheat the oven to 180c, (fan 160c) 350f, Gas mark 4

Lightly grease a 23cm round springform cake tin with a little spray oil. Line the base with baking parchment and set aside on a baking sheet.

Tip the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl. I like to melt chocolate in a microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each blast. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a bowl that just sits on top of a medium pan with a little bit of boiling water. Just make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water as this could make the chocolate grainy.  Leave the chocolate to sit until it melts, then stir, remove from the heat and set aside.

Next, beat the sugar, Greek yoghurt and butter together in a large bowl until well combined.  The mixture may have a few lumps and bumps in it, but that is okay.  Add two-thirds of the beaten egg along with half the flour and beat the mixture together until it looks uniform.  Add the remaining egg and flour, the baking powder and vanilla seeds or extract and mix it all together, then fold the melted chocolate through thoroughly.  Pour the mixture into the tin and level the top with the back of a spoon.  Bake in the oven for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, spongy to the touch and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the creme fraiche Chantilly.  Mix the creme fraiche, icing sugar and vanilla seeds or extract in a medium bowl with as few stirs as possible until blended.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven, brush the kirsch over evenly and leave to cool in the tin.  Once cooled, carefully remove it from the tin and place on a serving plate.  Spread the creme fraiche Chantilly on top of the cake and pile the cherries into the centre.  I like to remove the stalks from about two-thirds of the cherries, pile them on first and then top with the remaining cherries with the stalks sticking upwards.  Serve at once, remembering to warn your guests about the stones in the cherries.

Kerry Ellis

Kerry Ellis and the cast of rent will be performing Seasons of Love on today’s show, as part of the 20th Anniversary concert promotions. Join in with all the backstage news with the Rent Facebook page 

The Alan Titchmarsh Show