What’s on TV: Tuesday, October 22

Nigel Slater's Middle East

ABC, 9.35pm

Forget Nigella. If you want a lyrical, passionate and down-to-earth cook and food writer, it's Nigel you need. As the title suggests, in this series the wry, relaxed Brit is in the Middle East, starting tonight in Lebanon, where his enormous affection for place and people, not just food, shines through every frame. Along with being a wonderful travelling companion, Slater has that rare ability to evoke for us the things he's experiencing – whether that's a midnight "breakfast" during Ramadan, preserved roses tasted in the shade of ancient olive trees, or standing under the blazing sun in a field full of za'atar. Did you know za'atar is a plant as well as a spice mix? That's the other great thing about Nigel Slater's Middle East. Despite the cuisine being so hot right now, to the point of ubiquity, you're guaranteed to see something new and maybe even learn something.

You’re guaranteed to see something new with Nigel Slater’s Middle East.Credit:ABC

One Born Every Minute

Ten, 8.30pm

One Born Every Minute is one of the best factual franchises around and the local crew, set up in Sydney's Westmead hospital, has done a terrific job of recreating it for a local audience. Everything about this works, right down to the layers contained within the title. It is inarguable: babies are born every second of the day somewhere in the world. It's a completely commonplace experience. Yet it is also always utterly unique, and that's one of the things this series captures so successfully. The added bonus is that this

is a delightful picture of the diversity of Australia, shown at its best. Raw, often funny, and always moving (at least one good, hard cry per episode is guaranteed) it's the most affirming show on TV right now.

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