Not a day goes past without a cooking programme on our television screens.

Daily we hear the cry “Cooking does not get tougher than this”. Greg Wallace brings his own light hearted humour to the various editions of MasterChef. Above all I wait with bated breathe for the standard comment “They need to take it to the next level”.

Like so many people I enjoy watching some of these cooking programmes. We all have our favourites. For me Michel Roux Jnr. In his wonderful house in Provence is a delight. It makes me jealous of the wonderful location regardless of what food he produces.

Rachel Khoo with her down to earth approach preparing simple dishes in a minimal kitchen is full of charm and highly entertaining.

Jamie Oliver has been on our screens forever and has reinvented himself many times. What is enjoyable about his approach is his total enthusiasm for every recipe. He always dives into the meal he has prepared, taking huge mouthfuls of it to show how good it tastes.

A particular favourite of mine is Rick Stein. His mantra is always to keep cooking simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves.

This I can easily relate to as a limited chef myself. James Martin has presented programmes from many locations. His recent tour of France was very informative and enjoyable.

Perhaps many people’s favourites are the Hairy Bikers. We have all been on a journey with them. It has not been all about their travels on their bikes to most of Europe and beyond. It has also been about their lives and their health issues along the way. It is good to hear that Dave Myers is on the road to recovery after his cancer diagnosis.

Not all cooking programmes meet with my approval though. The recent five star cooking series where chefs are challenged to make dishes to sell for hundreds of pounds seems most inappropriate in these hard financial times.

It is easy to recognise that Gordon Ramsay is an outstanding chef. However his blunt approach and confrontational style leaves me switching to another channel.

Cooking programmes over the years have produced some real characters. Keith Floyd has to be the standout personality long after Johnnie and Fanny Cradock left the kitchen.

The ever-smiling Ainsley Harriott introducing Ready Steady Cook is another larger than life character. I just wish he would not overdo the theatrics. Gino D’Acampo rushing around Italy is a half hour of fun even if we know in advance it will most likely be a meal with pasta.

It is clear the British public love these cooking programmes. However I wonder just how many of us follow up their ideas and actually make a meal of it. It does come across as so simple.

The phlegmatic Nigel Slater is always worth a watch. I love the fact that when he starts a meal he tells us he is just using something left over at the back of the fridge. He then produces a massive piece of cheese.

Jamie Oliver always has a million spices to hand and a garden full of herbs. Nigella Lawson has a larder the size of a room. Tom Kerridge tells us we can cook and eat lots of meals and get slim at the same time. His own fluctuating waistline suggests this is not always the case.

They all tempt us with their charm, none more so than Mary Berry. Their influence now means my youngest grandson at the age of 12 has decided to be a MasterChef.

Fortunately I am married to a great cook who is also a fan of Delia Smith so my baked beans signature dish is rarely required.