Jamie's Kitchen (C4) - The Entertainers (BBC2) - After They Were Famous (ITV1)

JAMIE Oliver's recipe for cheese on toast was simple. Spread Marmite on a slice of bread. Put cheese and tomato on top, and grill. Then add a few four-letter words.

The chirpy chef's new series, as he switches to C4, contains an extra ingredient - post-watershed bad language. You could be excused for thinking you'd tuned in to a Gordon Ramsay masterclass in cooking and swearing.

Thankfully, Jamie's Kitchen isn't just another TV chef series. He aims to train 15 unemployed London youngsters to cook in the non-profit making restaurant he's opening.

We began with the "auditions" for what you might call Chef Idol. The signs weren't promising as youngsters named their favourite food as scampi, pizza, stewed chicken and chips. Not exactly the type of dish Oliver usually cooks.

When he asked one how he cooked pasta, the lad replied: "In a pan".

Another looked ready to throw up during a taste test involving butternut squash ravioli and oysters.

The final challenge was to cook a salmon and vegetables dish in 30 minutes after being shown by Oliver how to do it. His students seemed unable to follow even the simplest rules. One even cut the tips off the asparagus and threw them away, unaware they were the bits you eat.

Oliver himself was adamant that he could tolerates mistakes as long as would-be chefs had a passion for cooking and food. The series promises to be entertaining to watch, although I'd be careful about eating anything the students cook.

Whether Jamie Oliver has longevity as a TV chef remains to be seen. The Entertainers could be called The Has-Beens as the series focuses on people at the top in the 1960s and 1970s.

It was no surprise to find Louis Theroux among the producers as the series adopts the fly-on-the-wall, nose-in-the-cupboards approach of his own meetings with celebrities. How different to After They Were Famous, where people you vaguely remember talk straight to camera while old clips of their work cause you to giggle.

The Entertainers offered the sight of Bernard Manning in his underpants (comfortable for lounging around the house, so why put on trousers, he argued) and Leo Sayer showing why you should avoid boarding an aircraft with him (he threatened to run down the aisle singing his greatest hits).

Man of the moment Tony Blackburn was featured but it was his young daughter Victoria who stole the show with her less-than-tactful remarks about her DJ dad.

Mum's The Word, York Grand Opera House

YOU don't have to be a mother to appreciate this play, but it helps. Let me correct that - play is not the correct word to describe an entertainment in which six women sit around reflecting on motherhood. Notably the peeing, the pooing, the vomiting, the joy, the frustration, above all the love that only a mother can feel. The message is clear: bringing up baby is like living in a war zone but no mother would swap it for the world.

This is something every mother knows, so their recollections could hardly fail to strike a note of recognition among the predominantly-female first night audience. As a mere male, I felt like the lone man at one of those plays about stripping firemen or whoever that are the theatrical equivalent of a hen night.

Mum's The Word was written by six Canadian mothers and, judging by the hooting and hollering of the audience, their observations are spot on. The six performers (and real life mothers) - Beverley Callard, Julia Watson, Tina Malone, Polly Highton, Carole Anders and Anna Healy - bring an air of conviction to the baby talk. But they might as well be stand-up comics performing their patter as scant attempt is made to create characters as the script totters from tiny tot topic to topic.

Occasionally, seriousness - as in the case of a hospitalised baby - is allowed to intrude, before returning rapidly to the funny side of motherhood.

Steve Pratt

* Until Saturday. Tickets (01904) 671818. Mum's The Word can also be seen at Newcastle Theatre Royal from January 21 to February 1 (cast to be announced). Tickets (0870) 9055060