Andi Oliver visits Burnley to film for her BBC 'Fantastic Feasts' programme

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The BBC series ‘Andi Oliver’s Fantastic Feasts’ was in Burnley for its latest episode, documenting the build-up to a special cricket tea Andi prepared for an annual inter-faith cricket match between Vicars and Imams. And this week The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) has issued a new video on YouTube featuring Andi talking about how much she loves Burnley and its people.

Andi spiced things up between sides made up of people from across the County and representing The Church of England in Lancashire (Blackburn Diocese) and Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM). The culinary expert was on hand last summer with a BBC film crew at Belvedere and Calder Vale Sports Club in Burnley to add a special twist to proceedings for her new cookery series; episodes of which have been airing the past few weeks. The filming for the BBC show, by South Shore Productions (makers of Hairy Bikers and Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams) saw participation of both clergy and lay members from across Lancashire and teachers, clerics and members of mosques. You can watch the Burnley episode on BBC iPlayer here while on our YouTube channel here you can now watch a previously unreleased video interview with Andi. Meanwhile, Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Blackburn, and Cllr Afrasiab Anwar, And Councillor Afrasiab Anwar, Leader of Burnley Council and member of the Mosques’ cricket team were also interviewed about the programme on BBC Radio Lancashire this week. Listen to that interview here (from 1h 42m 16s). The inter-faith County cricket match has grown in popularity and profile since their first encounter in 2018 and has a reputation as an exemplar of good community relations. That reputation caught the attention of Andi and the BBC who wanted to film the teams when they next came together for their friendly encounter. Sadly, heavy rain stopped play on the day (although the match still went ahead a few weeks later) but filming took place anyway; with the teams tucking into Andi’s creations during the special cricket tea; with food sourced from the best local producers. In the new video Andi says: “It’s been so beautiful to be here in Lancashire to see people celebrating difference; supporting each other and understanding their communities. “I’m a big fan of cricket teas and we used to make cricket teas all the time when I was a kid. Cricket and sport generally brings people together but it’s the intention that’s important and the intention of this match is community cohesion and genuine friendship and I am quite moved by the honest intention people have here.” Bishop Philip commented: “The match was immensely good fun but also achieves a really good purpose, which is to bring together faith leaders from Muslim and Christian backgrounds. The atmosphere was really lovely. This cricket match is not just about building bridges, it also models to the wider community the joy of unexpected relationships. We come together for sport, for food, for friendship and to model good social cohesion.” On the day of the match Cllr Afrasiab Anwar said: “It’s great to be able to compete against each other in this way but, more importantly, it’s about the conversations we have and the friendships we build and the way we promote the wonderful communities and wonderful people we have here in Lancashire and celebrating that.” And speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire yesterday he added: “We take it really seriously and don’t want to lose when we play! None of what happened on the day was forced; natural conversations developed and this is demonstrated in the personal relationship Bishop Philip and I have – a real friendliness, trust and respect for one another.”