A STARRING role for Martin Freeman in a primetime drama was long overdue.

But when it finally arrived, the ever dependable Freeman grabbed it with both hands - with his portrayal of real-life policeman Steve Fulcher surely likely to get him a BAFTA nod next year.

A Confession, which concluded this week, was a fairly devastating piece of programme-making which above all really brought home the question of procedure versus doing the right thing.

It also, very effectively, dealt with a subject many of us struggle to address or indeed cope with - grief.

And not least the fact we all deal with it in very different ways.

Had it not been for this then maybe Fulcher would never even have had a complaint made against him in the first place.

It would have been so easy to have made a programme focusing on the manhunt for Christopher Helliwell and how he was caught but making sure his victims and their families were at the heart of this story was the winning factor here.

And Martin Freeman made his mark as a leading man, stepping out from the shadows of being an equally effective sidekick or playing it purely for laughs.

This was a case where there were no winners and at the heart of it were a group of people trying to make sense of something which can never really be understood.

Again Imelda Staunton turned up and put in nothing less than 100 per cent as the mother of one of the victims, in a veritable who’s who of a cast list.

It almost felt a bit flippant, just a day later to be watching a marquee full of amateur bakers attempting to make Sarawak celebration cakes - but such is the eclectic viewing life of the television addict.

Pardon the pun, and the absolute sacrilege of such an observation, but I do feel things are getting a tad stale in the tent of dreams.

Umpteen series in, there is a whiff of running out of challenging items to bake.

As a result, the many layered and intricately designed showstopper this week seemed to be trying too hard.

Even as a keen baker myself I can confidently say there are better things to be doing than grilling paper thin layers of sponge and arranging them in a migraine-inducing pattern only for it to then be eaten by hungry cake fans.

I think I will stick to lemon drizzle, thanks.

Not even Noel and Sandi’s impish hi-jinx stopped me feeling a bit underwhelmed this week.

In fact, I turned over before finding out who was being given their marching orders, and caught up with what was happening on Love in the countryside where Sara Cox continues her bid to match make lonely farmers.

So far she has successfully helped Martin meet Hermione, who was not put off by the absolute dive of a farm he lived on and has embarked on a charmingly old-fashioned courtship with him.

Traditional snail mail letters were employed by Sara and the producers for hopeful lovers and after a quick speed date moment, the chosen hopefuls join them on their farms.

So far it has not taken a genius to work out who might not make the grade.

I mean, why on earth would you apply to date a farmer if you were scared of cows ?

It was hardly worth the poor chap investing in a pair of wellies let along hopping on the train to the middle of nowhere.