IT’S funny how there are programmes which on paper appear to have no real purpose and yet, when you catch a few minutes of them, you can’t turn them off.

Latest in a long line of such offerings to capture my attention was The Great British Bake Off on the Beeb on Tuesday night.

The idea of a few amateurs imprisoned in a tent while messing around with flour is not the most compelling TV scenario. But it’s completely addictive.

This week was bread week with the contestant facing three challenges – flatbreads, bagels and the dreaded eight-strand platt which sounds more like an old English folk dance.

Although some of our would-be Mr Buns got it, for many it was a disaster.

Instead of an intricate loaf, many attempts looked like a drunken octopus caught in a blender.

Judges Hollywood and Berry may sound like an American road junction but they do a great line in disdainful expressions. Paul Hollywood’s grey goatee adds an extra element of Bond-baddie menace to his pronoucements on the contestants abilities.

And on top of this we also got a potted history of the bagel.

So a show that’s both entertaining and informative, whatever next!