Wolverhampton,1967: nine year old Nigel Slater loves his mother though she is a hopeless cook, her finest offering being toast whilst he has great culinary aspirations. When she dies of asthma Nigel is left with a distant father but worse is to come when the 'common' Mrs. Joan Potter arrives as the Slaters' cleaner. Nigel fears, rightly, that her aim is to be the next Mrs. Slater and soon he has a new stepmother and is whisked away to the country. Joan is, however, a superb cook but this only makes for rivalry as Nigel, the only boy in his cookery class at secondary school, competes with her to find the way to his father's heart. A weekend job in a pub kitchen introduces Nigel to an older boy, another great cook and gay like himself, who gives him the confidence and inspiration to leave home after his father's death and head for the hotel kitchens of London.Written by
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The UK audience for the BBC1 transmission of Toast on December 30, 2010 averaged 6.2 million viewers, a 25.3% share, with another 10,000 viewers watching a later showing on the BBC HD channel. See more »
When Nigel plays the 7 inch single towards the end of the drama, he pulls out a record with a 'Harvest' label. Dusty Springfield was never on this label. See more »
Warm, tender, evocative, multi-layered and wonderfully acted
To be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting something this good when I tuned in to watch Toast. While it doesn't quite make my favourite dramas of all-time list, it is for me one of the better programmes airing over the Christmas season. Is Toast sentimental? Yes, in a way I suppose it is. But it is also warm, gentle and tender, not to mention evocative and multi-layered. Toast looks wonderful certainly, as the production values and period detail are really quite pleasing. The photography is very skillful, while the scenery and costumes are beautiful. In general, I did like the music. It did occasionally get a tad over-bearing, but in its more subdued moments it was quite charming and quaint, very like the drama itself. The script is always touching, honest and funny, while the story is engaging throughout and the pacing and direction are also spot-on. The acting is perfect across the board. Oscar Kennedy is wonderful as young Nigel Slater, and while Freddie Highmore as his teenage self is good Kennedy was better. Ken Stott is also winning as his father, and Victoria Hamilton is very touching. Helena Bonham Carter also gives one of her better performances of late. All in all, this is a very absorbing and beautifully done drama. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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