Can I have my cake and eat it without the stress?
I used to think I was quite good at making cakes. There's photographic evidence of all sorts of ambitious novelty birthday offerings I made my children when they were little – from beach scenes to Noah's Arks to snooker tables and teddy bears.
But thanks to The Great British Bake Off (Tuesday, BBC Two) I'm feeling terribly inferior and terrified of my quest to make a special celebration offering in the next few days.
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood really are hard task-masters and the baker's dozen of home cooks in this new series have raised the bar yet again with their enviable skills.
It's great to see a Westcountry contestant in the mix in the form of chirpy Devon English teacher Glenn Cosby, whose creations in this opening week were huge in both size and ambition.
How can I possibly compete with his multi-layered sculptural chocolate creation? I have visions of mine turning out like the haphazard mess hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are offering up in the picture on the right of this page.
I reckon think these girls have the best job on the show; all they have to do is stand on the sidelines, cheering or comforting as appropriate, as the cooks either sail through calmly or get in a total pickle with the massive challenge of baking, not only in front of the cameras, but under the eagle eyes of picky Mary and blunt Paul. I lost count of the number of shiny blue plasters wrapped around nervous fingers by the end of the hour.
Envy and feelings of inadequacy aside, it's a moreish show; once I'd started watching I found it impossible to walk away until I'd seen how the cakes turned out. They each had to conjure up an unusual signature sponge, follow Mary's basic, but tricky, fatless angel food cake recipe and then make a chocolate show-stopper of their own design.
Glenn wasn't top of the class this time – that honour landed with the highly precise Rob, a space satellite designer. But he wasn't eliminated either; that fate befell poor Toby who put salt instead of sugar in his cake mix and sported impressive plastered knife wounds on both his thumbs.
So Glenn, if you're reading this, I've already lived through 13 people's cake anxieties, perhaps I should just ask you round to make mine for me?
I actually prefer watching ordinary people in the kitchen. To my mind Celebrity Masterchef (BBC One) isn't half as interesting as the unstarry version. This week put boxer Joe Calzaghe, Les Dennis (not sure how to describe his "celebrity" status these days), singer Speech Debelle and cricketer Matthew Hoggard, which begs one question... Why?
Backtracking a little, I have to take back my initial rejection following the final episode of dark drama Southcliffe (Sunday, Channel 4). Having struggled to follow the strands of the first two episodes, my curiosity drew me back and I'm so glad it did, if only for the superb portrayal of a woman descending into crazy despair offered by Shirley Henderson.
She played Claire, the stepmother of one the victims slaughtered by mass murderer Stephen Morton, a misfit former serviceman from the small town community they all lived in, as well as his mother's part-time carer.
Quirky and fallible characters, clever plotting and a brooding landscape made this one of the best dramas on TV this year – but only if you could lift yourself out of the depressive atmosphere at the end.