FIRST we had soggy bottoms, now we’ve got saggy pockets!

Yes the Beeb has returned to the well of ‘old-fashioned’ domestic skills to create its latest offering.

And against all the odds they appear to have pulled it off.

The Great British Sewing Bee will do for needlecraft what its precursor the Bake Off did for cake making.

No doubt sewing machine shops around the country will be rubbing their hands with glee as the nation gets inspired to knock up a quick skirt and take the DIY approach to fashion.

Unlike the excellent Project Catwalk a few years ago – about time they brought that back – the eight contestants are the practical type rather than would-be designers. They still have a great creative eye but it’s the fact that they are ‘real’ people which works so well.

We had a Black Country mum who sounded like Noddy Holder, a tattooed truck mechanic and – my favourite – the sprightly octogenarian Ann who took everything in her stride and passed serenely into the next round.

If you doubt that a sewing competition could be interesting then just watch next week’s episode and be convinced.

Sure it’s easy-going and slightly formulaic with a pair of picky judges and Claudia Winkleman and her performing fringe taking up the Mel and Sue role, but it’s strangely compelling.