With the UK under lockdown 3, maintaining good mental health is quite the challenge, especially in the middle of a dull and dreary January. Finding a hobby – and therefore having something positive to focus on – is great for one’s mental health. If you’re struggling to find a passion, here’s five creative TV shows to inspire you.
This is a must-watch show for anyone who loves old things. Each week, people bring in their battered and broken antiques, and the crew at The Repair Shop bring them back to life. Most of the objects have sentimental meaning, and I often find myself brimming when they see their treasured possessions as good as new. Slow and sweet, this show is heart-warmingly feel-good and will leave you with a huge smile on your face.
Available to watch on BBC One and iPlayer.
Known as the Great British Baking Show in the US, Bake Off is famous the world over. Each week contestants have to bake in three challenges – a signature bake, a technical challenge, and a show-stopper – with one winning “Star Baker” and one being eliminated. Despite the competition, bakers often help each other out, and there’s a good-natured spirit that gives truly positive guides. Those at home can also join in with recipes appearing online after each episode, and a series of tie-in books that always fly off the shelves when they launch.
Available on Channel 4 and More4
The antithesis to Bake Off, this Netflix show has very amateur bakers attempt to recreate intricate cakes with often hilarious results. Though some bakes are terrible, there’s no nastiness in the judging, with contestants laughing at themselves as much as everyone else. A funny, light-hearted show that’s ideal for those that can burn water as well as better established cooks, Nailed It is a great way to lift your spirits.
Taking its basic idea from Bake Off, The Great British Sewing Bee swaps making cakes with sewing garments. Responsible for a surge in an interest in sewing, Sewing Bee shares the low drama of Bake Off and again usually sees contestants helping each other. The Alteration Challenge in particular is great fun, and food for thought for recycling garments.
In last position because pottery is a difficult to do at home, the Pottery Throw Down is another show built on the popularity of Bake Off. What I love about this show is the history given on the making of certain items. It’s absolutely fascinating, and then of course there are the makes themselves. My only quibble with Pottery Throw Down is the technical challenge, which sees “failed” makes thrown into the clay bin. The contestants laugh, but it feels a little cruel to me.