First off, Happy New Year to you all.
We've had some great docu-dramas on the tv over the holidays, as only the BBC can do.
The first one was "Toast" based on chef Nigel Slater's best-selling autobiography. It stars Freddie Highmore as the teenage Nigel and Helena Bonham-Carter as his "step-mother" Mrs Potter; you can pretty much guarantee something's going to be good if Helena Bonham-Carter is in it. The young lad, Oscar Kennedy, who plays the young Nigel is also excellent.
It starts in Wolverhampton in 1957 with a nine year old Nigel Slater and his mother who's a dreadful cook. When she dies Nigel is left with his so-not-fun father but even worse, the 'common' Mrs Joan Potter becomes their cleaner. Joan quickly becomes much more to Nigel's father, much to Nigel's chagrin however she is a superb cook - though this only makes the rivalry with Nigel worse as they vie for his father's attention. To get away from it Nigel gets a part time job in a pub kitchen and introduces him to an older boy, who appreciates great cookery and who gives him the confidence to leave home after his father dies and head for the kitchens of London.
I haven't read Nigel's book, but after watching this I certainly plan to. Even if you're not au fait with Nigel Slater's cooking shows & books I'd definitely recommend watching this fantastic drama. A trailer can be found on the BBC website here.
The next fab docu-drama was "Eric and Ernie" about how the fabulous English comics Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, met and started their career as Morecame and Wise. It stars Victoria Wood as Eric's mother (the driving force behind the duo), who also helped get this made; and excellent casting with Daniel Rigby as Eric is incredible and has Eric's voice & ticks down pat - you'd think you were watching the man himself; and Bryan Dick makes a great Ernie to bounce off; finally Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves) plays Eric's dad.
Watching this really made me nostalgic for all those Christmas specials of Morecambe and Wise and I'll definitely be re-watching all their films which we have on dvd. Another one to definitely recommend!
Next up is one about the great Hattie Jacques due to air later this month - can't wait! x