Following in the footsteps of The Great British Bake Off, on BBC 2 is the next big thing in twinning National Pride with all things twee and old-fashioned. Or is it? The Great British Sewing Bee is going to struggle to gain the fanatical, finger-licking audience that The Great British Bake Off drew in because… well, because… it’s sewing. It’s making blouses and trousers. It’s not baking cakes. Yummy cakes, that you can make yourself and eat and share with friends. No one EVER, EVER gained as much satisfaction from completing a successful button hole as they did from baking a delectable tray of macaroons and that, my friends, is a FACT.

The Guardian’s review of the show displays a certain degree of sympathy towards the show’s presenter Claudia Winkleman, who is left to carry the show alone, with ne’er a sidekick in sight. “She does her best to fill Mel and Sue's shoes by performing a double act with herself,” writes Tom Meltzer. Even more sympathy, however, is due to the “poor models” who are dressed in purple robes throughout the show: “Whose idea was it to dress them in purple robes? They look like a team of Roman serving staff.”

However, over at The Mirror, the lovely Anthea Turner was full of praise for the show. Turner must be in patriotic mode, because she described the show as “very us and perfectly timed.” She backs up the claim by stating that “Sewing machine sales are rocketing and shopping channels like Create and Craft have seen a massive increase in sewing sales,” so we have to assume that she has a valid point. 

Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman: does an excellent double act with herself, apparently