TV review: The Great British Sewing Bee

Claudia Winkleman never had me in stitches.

“I’m appalled,” said Patrick Grant. “Everything has been thrown into a state of disarray.”

No, he wasn’t talking about the effect on him to the overwhelmingly negative response to his moustache, but Neil’s invention of the “skanklet” in the final of The Great British Sewing Bee.

Having previously won more challenges than anyone in the history of the programme, Neil needed to stitch his hands together in Thursday’s final if he wasn’t to be awarded the golden mannequin.

And after winning the first challenge you could almost hear the collective turning on of kettles across the land as viewers thought to make a warm drink before Banished.

Then came the alteration challenge, and an attempt from Neil that kept the top and bottom but cut out all of the material (and modesty) in between.

Claudia Winkleman came up with the name skanklet because it was a skirt that mostly covered the ankles.

I’d say she needs to type her made up words into Google to find out if they have any other connotations before giving voice to them on primetime BBC2.

Claudia’s role on this programme often reminds me of the day when work colleagues are allowed to bring their children into the office, pointing at things and asking what they’re for.

“I don’t want you to be calm,” she told one of the finalists on Thursday.

With so many sharp objects lying round the sewing room it’s a miracle she has made it through three series.

The skanklet faux pas spiced things up for a while until Lorna, Neil’s only viable challenger, made a giant lampshade instead of a dress in the made-to-measure challenge.

It was ironic that she chose to use curtain material for this task as the one thing most apparent when the TV cameras visited her home was that she could do with some new drapes.

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