The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

The sweet shop team with author Penny Thorpe for the TV show The Wonderful World of Chocolate.
The sweet shop team with author Penny Thorpe for the TV show The Wonderful World of Chocolate.

Each to their own and it is a good job we are all different. Gloria and I have not had a television for over 20 years and when I tell people, many ask how we manage to live without one.

Easy really as where we live it proved difficult all those years ago getting a decent signal and we were quite often out on an evening meaning we could not follow any series from the start to the finish.

I know people will say, well you could have recorded programmes while you were out, but the problem was neither of us knew how to go about setting up the equipment.

I appreciate for many the television is a great companion and this week in Pateley Bridge I was talking to two ladies who live their lives partly around the TV programmes that they watch.

The ladies were in Pateley Bridge having recently seen the BBC 2 TV programme Britain in Bloom featuring the village.

I chatted with the ladies who told me that where places are featured on the television that look interesting, they plan visits to them. Pateley Bridge was being crossed off the places visited by the ladies to be followed later by Emmerdale film locations in West Yorkshire.

Pateley Bridge is being featured on Channel 5 as part of a six part series of programmes about the history of chocolate called ‘The Wonderful World of Chocolate’.

The series shown on Sunday evenings (started on June 23) features historical expert and author Alex Hutchinson (also known as Penny Thorpe) who used to work at Rowntrees in York. Gloria and Kirsty Shepherd also appear in the series with me not taking part on this one.

I must have a word with my agent!

I did recently appear on the BBC TV programme River Walks presented by Amar Latif who is blind.

Amar last week gave a talk which lasted 11 minutes at the TEDxGlasgow which I have watched on You Tube ( and it is one of the most inspirational talks I have ever heard.

Some people like Amar have faced really difficult challenges in their lives but through determination, climb their mountain to reach the summit, then move on to the next mountain to conquer that.

People who are members of the Harrogate Parkinson’s Society no doubt face daily challenges, but as I saw when I went to give a talk to their group last week at the Granby, they get through each day with their determination, the support of families, friends and carers.

Last week I went along to Harrogate Library. No not to return books from the 1960s, but to give a talk to the WI group – and I didn’t have to do it in a whisper as we were in a room below the library!

This week renowned chef Frances Atkins of the Yorke Arms, Ramsgill will be visiting Nidderdale High School to give a masterclass in how to use home grown produce, or in this case school grown produce in cooking. Francis’s visit is to the after-school gardening club which is run by teacher Dr Matt Binding.

The pupils have been growing produce in a poly tunnel at the school and Francis will be using the veg etc from it to show how it can be used in cooking.

The Pateley Bridge in Bloom group have followed the after-school gardening club this year and their work will be part of the judging for the Britain in Bloom competition.

I am looking forward to soup prepared by a Michelin star chef – it will make a change from the 57 variety one that I am used to!