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Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea

Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea

Wed Apr 10, 9-10pm, BBC1

By Gabriel Tate
Series one, episode one
The celebrity travelogue is an increasingly tired format, but this is one of the better recent entries in the genre. Victoria Wood has a gentle punchline for everything, neatly undercutting the absurdly bombastic soundtrack that blares throughout her travels, which tonight take her to China and India.

It was in the Orient, of course, where Britain’s love affair with tea began, but also an unsavoury trade in opium that led to an inglorious war. It’s fascinating to observe both the art and science of tea from its cultivation to its consumption: the philosophical sits surprisingly comfortably alongside the commercial in these two nations, even if Wood is a little too content to laugh off the odd potentially exploitative practice.

But it’s a breezily enjoyable hour, with presenter and subject a perfect match, and self-indulgent diversions kept to a minimum. Wood’s journey concludes tomorrow with celebrity tea drinkers including Graham Norton, Matt Smith and Morrissey, of all people, having their say.

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