On a chilly, wintry evening in January, I found myself aimlessly flicking by means of channels in look for of a little something to occupy myself with. 

I would presently binged Bridgerton, watched Usual People for the third time, and was on my fourth rewatch of Schitt’s Creek. Mercifully, a new series of Grand Types experienced appear alongside, appropriate in time for the UK’s third national lockdown. Like several persons, I have not long ago reached quite a lower ebb in my psychological wellbeing and I’ve been trying to discover joy in every day daily life — be it by leaving the house to stomp all-around the muddy neighborhood park, or cooking up a tasty storm in my kitchen. 

Pleasure, in January, is normally in shorter offer in the northern hemisphere. The times are brief, the daylight is scarce, and the temperatures positively baltic. But, I have transpired upon a television gem that’ll heat your frosty coronary heart and give you a substantially-desired dose of cheer: The Fantastic Pottery Throw Down. 

I will admit it, I genuinely slept on this clearly show. I saw the adverts for Series 3 of the Channel 4 demonstrate in 2020, and advised myself I’d enjoy it, and then…totally forgot all about it. So, when I saw that a new series of The Great Pottery Toss Down was about to start out, I knew I had no excuse this time about.

“Like Bake Off, but pottery,” my mum experienced knowledgeable me last 12 months. She was, and stays, a enormous fan. “You will like it,” she confident me. Reader, she was right. If you’re lacking the heat glow that Bake Off delivers to your lifestyle (and let us experience it, we all are), then this right right here is the clearly show for you. 

The potters outside the house Gladstone Pottery Museum, the place the collection is filmed.

Just like Bake Off, the display sees 12 hobbyists competing towards one particular a further at a craft they love. Every single 7 days, the newbie potters battle it out to be crowned winner of the wheel, competing in weekly technological issues and generating spectacular showstoppers. At the finish of each and every episode, a person particular person is named Potter of the Week and yet another contestant is eradicated. 

Siobhán McSweeney AKA Sister Michael from Derry Ladies is the new host, changing past host Melanie Sykes. Now, if you at any time viewed the Derry Women Bake Off unique, you are going to know McSweeney in genuine life could not be further more from her on-monitor role as a stern, sardonic nun. The strength she delivers to the Throw Down is just pleasant. 

The show has all the very same components that make Bake Off so pulse-quickeningly nerve-racking. You can find a elaborate complex problem that truly puts the potters by means of their paces. Pottery that doesn’t meet the judges’ criteria receives unceremoniously squished and chucked in a bucket, eliciting yelps and cries from the potters who’ve just lovingly thrown these pots with care. At the time the specialized section is about, then comes the showstopper. In Sequence 3, episode 1, the potters were tasked to make a cheese set comprising a ceramic dome, two pickle jars and a fondue set, and episode 2 observed them challenged to construct a 3D miniature creating. The completed effects are normally brimming with creative flair, character, and talent. 

Potter and ceramic designer Keith Brymer Jones is one particular of the judges and he is commonly moved to tears (like, several occasions for every episode) by the contestants’ amazing pottery endeavours. It is honestly so lovely to observe an individual who’s so passionate about their craft acquiring emotional about other people’s really hard do the job and creativeness. After Keith sheds a tear, there’s generally a lot much more lose all-around the studio. What I genuinely appreciate about this programme is just how considerably the contestants care about the pottery they are creating. They pour their hearts and souls into their clay creations and several of them choose inspiration from beloved loved ones users or areas that have intended a excellent deal to them. 

Feelings aside, this is a programme about artistry and craft, but it’s also about British heritage. The collection is filmed at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in the Staffordshire Potteries, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The Potteries has been the house of British ceramic generation considering the fact that the 17th century and Gladstone Pottery is a former manufacturing facility that was decommissioned after the Clean Air Act (yep, the a person outlined in The Crown) arrived into perform in 1956, forbidding the use of coal fired bottle ovens (a style of kiln). 

In quick, this is a deeply calming programme to view. Two episodes into this existing time, you will find by now so a lot to adore. The potters take care of a person one more with kindness and compassion. They all care passionately about pottery. And when they make some thing wonderful, they all have a good cry. What is actually not to really like? 

The Good Pottery Toss Down is accessible to stream on All4. New episodes air on Channel 4 on Sunday at 8 p.m. GMT. If you happen to be in the U.S., Collection 3 is readily available to stream on HBO Max