Great British Bake Off  contestants (left to right) Alvin, Ugne, Paul, Dorret, Marie, Ian, Nadiya, Stu, Tamal, Flora, Mat and Sandy  for this year’s BBC1’s cookery contest, Photograph: Mark Bourdillon/PA Wire

It is a truth universally acknowledged that you’d want to be some class of monster not to love the Great British Bake Off. Even people who don’t watch(...)

Mary Berry in Dublin recently. “I know the subject of baking and I’ve just got to be fair, encourage them [the Bake Off contestants] and try to say something nice even when it’s pretty awful”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times 4:58

Mary Berry is very polite and very proper. “Oh, I’d never put my elbows on the table,” she says, when the Irish Times photographer asks her to lean(...)

Nervous cooks Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect ... by Mary Berry (Dorling Kindersley, €30) She may be best known for her cakes and puddings, bu(...)

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, judges for  Great British Bake Off, the semi-final of which is on BBC One tonight at 8pm

Tonight’s the night – it’s semi-final time for the four remaining Great British Bake Off contestants and it’s patisserie week, so expect lots of drama(...)

Bumps a-daisy: Jill Halfpenny, Christine Bottomley, Katherine Parkinson, Hermoine Norris, Taj Atwal and Hannah Midgley in In The Club.

It’s an original drama written by Kay Mellor, of Fat Friends and The Chase, but there’s a lot of box-ticking in In the Club (BBC One, Tuesday). Watchi(...)

Veiled threat: Claire Danes as Carrie

Well, thank you, RTÉ continuity announcer. She introduced the season finale of Homeland (RTÉ Two, Tuesday) by saying “hankies at the ready”, or some s(...)

Patrick Freyne gets a one-on-one cookery lesson from Donal Skehan in the latter’s house in Howth. Photograph: Alan Betson

Donal Skehan and his Swedish girlfriend, Sofie, are shelling nuts in the kitchen of their Howth home. Skehan is wearing a blue-and-white- striped a(...)

Baker and Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, pictured in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

“I didn’t see it, my mum didn’t see it, and my mum’s the biggest critic of the lot.” The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood seems surprised b(...)

The Royal Crescent in Bath. Photographs: Getty
Avon calling

The twin river cities of Bristol and Bath may be just 12 minutes apart by train yet they seem centuries apart. Bristol appears young – it hides its(...)

Simon Schama: unflappable charm and erudition. Photograph: Tim Kirby/Oxford Film and Television/BBC

A mere three weeks into its run, and already Today With Sean O’Rourke (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays) has found a formula that works. Unfortunately, it’s the (...)