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All fired up; Sara Cox and co try to whip us into a frenzy about pottery as heat is turned up on the contestants.

PICK OF THE DAY The Great Pottery Throw Down (BBC2, 9pm) T'S week three and the desperation to make pottery cool is positively oozing out of this latest format.

IThere's a funky soundtrack of rock hits from the 60s; presenter Sara Cox flits around making sarky comments and gesturing wildly (radio DJs are always a bit cool, right?); and even the judges are 'on message' to bring pottery to the masses.

"It's crazy!" says Kate Malone, over-egging it as usual as she describes a new firing technique. "It's breaking all the rules."

"It's volatile. You're working against the forces of physics," adds the cry-baby judge, Keith Brymer-Jones, while Sarais jigging around getting all excited about the "tribal flames" and telling us "sparks will fly".

They are talking about an ancient Japanese technique called Raku, which the contestants have to use to make ten long-necked vases. But a lot can go wrong when you incorporate a red hot 1,000-degrees centigrade furnace into the proceedings. And the competition is hotting up enough as it is.

"I'll be looking for a way to break Jim's arms," jests Tom, wondering if that will keep last week's Top Potter out of the competition. Jim, meanwhile, dare I say it, is a bit cocky about his success. I thought pottery was supposed to be civilised? For the technical challenge the amateurs have to decorate a family of three jugs, and the 'throw down' involves copying Keith's two stunning candlesticks, which he whips up on the wheel in seconds.

Producers needn't worry about trying to convince us, we are thoroughly impressed.


Clay date: Kate | Malone, Keith Brymer Jones and Sara Cox prepare for the latest round of The Great Pottery Throw Down

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 17, 2015
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