The Great Pottery Throw Down

Rating 8.4
Streamer All4
Seasons 2
Episodes 20 x 60 mins

Life is just so competitive these days, what with Bake Off, Portrait Artist of the Year, Sewing Bee and the new dog grooming show, Pooch Perfect. In fact, you might even argue that we’ve had enough of these brilliantly British craft competition bonanzas. But we’re asking you to make room for just one more…

The Great Pottery Throw Down is Channel 4’s latest competition comfort watch, even though it started life at the BBC. The premise is simple – a dozen amateur potters face weekly challenges in a bid to pot their way to the top, and win the show. The contestants are bloody lovely and you can expect lots of the camaraderie and compassion that we’re used to from the series’ baking sister show. But despite the tenderness, don’t get us wrong, they’re in it to win it – here clay throwing is as competitive as the Olympics, and as serious as politics. So, to become the champ, you’ve got to urn it. Sorry, we know that was bad.

The judges are joy too. The wry wit of Siobhán McSweeney is perfectly complemented by the constantly smiling Richard Miller, and the sweetly emotional, Keith Brymer Jones – he cries a lot. Really a lot. With them we’re in for ten weeks of tranquil telly.

So, as far as comfort telly goes, The Great Pottery Throw Down is absolutely kiln it.

That’s the last one, we promise.

The Times’ Carol Midgely has high praise indeed, saying “this beautifully therapeutic hour leaves Bake Off in the shade.” Nobody tell Paul. Lucy Mangan in The Guardian got some self-care out the series, calling it “a precious hour of tranquillity,” going on to say: “creating something fit for purpose out of nothing, moulding order out of chaos – how can this not, even in ordinary years, let alone one as stricken as this, be beautiful?” The Telegraph’s Anita Singh, however, clearly isn’t such a pot head, saying she is “so weary of this format,” despite admitting it’s a “charming and gentle” watch.

First shown November 2015.

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