This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Nigel Slater: Life Is Sweets

Chocolate limes, buttered brazils, sherbert dib-dabs and marshmallows. Food writer Nigel Slater charts the origins of British sweets and chocolates from medicinal, medieval boiled sweets to the chocolate bars that line the supermarket shelves today.

With adverts of the sweets everyone remembers and loves, this nostalgic, emotional and heartwarming journey transports Nigel back to his childhood by the powerful resonance of the sweets he used to buy with his pocket money. Nigel recalls the curiously small toffee that inspired him to write his memoir, the marshmallow, which he associates with his mother, and the travel sweet, which conjures up memories of his father. He marvels at the power of something as incidental as a sweet to reveal emotions, character and the past.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 11 Jun 2017 19:00

Food Glorious Food Season

Food Glorious Food Season

Nigel Slater: Life is Sweets is part of the BBC Four Food Glorious Food Season, a collection of intriguing new programmes exploring Britain’s curious foodie history. Find out more about the other programmes in the season below…


Calf's Head & Coffee: The Golden Age of English Food: 'Gastronaut' Stefan Gates explores the cradle of contemporary English cuisine.


The Chef Who Conquered New York: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt: Storyville takes a look at the British celebrity chef who was the youngest to be awarded three stars by the New York Times.


The First Master Chef: Michel Roux on Escoffier: The French chef Michel Roux introduces the legacy of the first celebrity chef to make his mark on Britain - Georges Auguste Escoffier.


Food in England: The Lost World of Dorothy Hartley: Dr Lucy Worsley retraces the life and work of the now largely forgotten writer, Dorothy Hartley and the origins of her seminal book 'Food in England'.


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: Clarissa Dickson Wright uncovers the origins of our three daily meals.


Chateau Chunder: When Australian Wine Changed the World: The story of how a small group of enterprising Australian winemakers took on the world and won.


Role Contributor
PresenterNigel Slater
Executive ProducerEmma Hindley
DirectorMark Adderley
WriterNigel Slater

The sweet spot: why nostalgia drives our love of confectionery

Gummy bears

"The number of traditional sweet shops has risen by 15% over the last year"