NOT the Government’s handling of the pandemic, not the prospects of a no-deal Brexit, not the disastrousness of devolution - no, the hot topic of the week has been how you prepare your toast.

TV chef Nigella Lawson shocked, nay outraged, the nation by saying on her show Cook, Eat, Repeat at the weekend: “I favour the two-stage buttering approach.”

Ever since ancient man started messing around with flour 30,000 years ago, he has been trying to perfect the art of toast-making. It has only taken science nine months to make a coronavirus vaccine, so Nigella’s breakthrough after 30 millennia could be epoch-defining.

Sitting in a flower-embroidered bower, she explained how she takes toast straight from the toaster and spreads unsalted butter on it which melts to give it “a fabulous, crumpety bite”.

Then she puts her knife down and waits. The toast cools.

“Stage two now, ready for it,” she said. “I need a little more butter and it will stay in some golden patches on the surface.”

She double buttered her toast! Then she sprinkled salt flakes over it before devouring it and licking her plump lips.

Toast is one of the few areas in this life upon which I am fully qualified to comment. I have spent the last 50-plus years toasting bread on a daily basis. My in-depth research has concluded that butter should never be allowed to melt on toast. To avoid such a goey aberration, I stand my two pieces of morning toast in a wigwam on the bread board so that they cool down.

Or, if I am in a hurry, I wave the warm articles around the kitchen until the heat has dissipated.

Only then can the buttering begin. I complete the process with a goodly dollop of orange marmalade, which should never be spread so brusquely that it ends in a buttery-marmalady mess. The two should remain as distinct layers.

Then eat and, indeed, repeat tomorrow.

This week, against all my natural inclinations, I have been trialling Nigella’s method. As I am a diner and not a doctor, I will ignore the obvious health concerns about a double dose of butter and concentrate on the plate itself.

And I have to say I am extremely disappointed. In fact, I am a little angry.

If melted butter on toast is to have any appeal, it has to be warm and oozy but under Nigella’s method, her first spread cools and coagulates, and it makes the toast go floppy and flimsy.

Then she adds the weight of a second butter layer on top so that the toast becomes structurally unsound. This renders the toast incapable of doing its job of carrying the marmalade to the mouth, and instead it breaks up in delivery causing the preserve, which should be laced with whisky, to fall to plate or floor.

Toast should provide a proud, upstanding crunch for the start of the day. You do not want to get out of bed for these sloppy seconds.

Without fear of contradiction, I can conclude that Nigella’s double buttered toast is most definitely not the best thing since sliced bread.

Next week, I may discuss the Labour Party’s handling of its anti-Semitism crisis.