‘There are no laughs on TV any more – forget box ticking and show us funny’

Where are the laughs on mainstream TV?

There were just four comedy shows on the main channels last week. All were repeats and one was Citizen Khan, which barely counts.

Even the most self-satisfied TV exec must realise they have done for popular comedy what Boris Johnson was gleefully doing to Jennifer Arcuri for four years.

Once, our evenings were brightened up by masters – Eric & Ernie, the Two Ronnies, Benny Hill, Russ Abbott, Frankie Howerd, Pete & Dud, the immortal Tommy Cooper…

Who brings us sunshine now?

The BBC’s idea of cutting-edge comedy is a middle-class smug-bucket effing and blinding about Boris and Trump (still).

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Worse, we have Toussaint Douglass calling white people “ugly” (he’s no oil painting himself), Sophie Duker quipping “kill whitey” and Jayde Adams fantasising about murdering her fella – all on the Beeb.

Yeah, let’s beat racism and sexism by reversing it!

No wonder ratings are through the floor. Dipping into Live At The Apollo makes me pine for the clever stand-up of Monkhouse, Carrott and Dave Allen.

We’re cursed with people who identify as comedians (Craig Brown’s phrase) – and are indulged in that delusion by the licence fee – but wouldn’t have lasted five minutes at the Wheeltappers & Shunters Club.

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Even the best current comedians are wasted. Lee Mack and Peter Kay should have big-budget primetime comedy specials and Christmas spectaculars. Pasquale too.

Nigel Lythgoe would have given Jimmy Carr, Micky Flanagan and Jack Dee An Audience With. Revive it, ITV! And TV Burp!

We need earthy sitcoms, sketch shows, proper stand-up, topical comedy, farces, off-the-wall humour, actual satire…

Like what you see? Then fill your boots…

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Forget box-ticking and show us the funny.

And why shouldn’t old-school comics ply their trade on BBC One? Bosses don’t like their politics? So what?

Let the viewers decide. We’re the ones paying.

Or have they forgotten that?

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