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Series nine and those rapid fire gags are STILL on target

Of all TV genres, comedy is normally the most divisive. Alert to this, the makers of the long-running sitcom Not Going Out (BBC1) keep it strictly old school.


Not Going Out

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Still Game 

Rating:

Of all TV genres, comedy is normally the most divisive. Alert to this, the makers of the long-running sitcom Not Going Out (BBC1) keep it strictly old school.

Lee (Lee Mack) is one of life’s hopeless cases. His wife is permanently exasperated by him, his children don’t respect him and his snobby in-laws don’t hide the fact he is a huge disappointment. And little wonder, because everything he touches he destroys.

Last night, in the first episode of the new series, Lee had to look after his in-law’s house while they were on holiday.

Of all TV genres, comedy is normally the most divisive. Alert to this, the makers of the long-running sitcom Not Going Out (pictured) keep it strictly old school

To prove to wife Lucy (Sally Bretton) he wasn’t a complete loss, Lee offered to mow the lawn. Yes, you guessed . . . it was artificial turf which Lee didn’t realise until he’d cut a huge stripe in it.

The shredded plastic then broke the mower which leaked petrol all over the garden.

BAD DECISION OF THE NIGHT

The latest series of Married At First Sight (C4) has ended and, six months after marrying, one couple are divorcing and the others are struggling. Anyone would think marrying a complete stranger isn’t a good idea.  

Lee’s solution was to cut the plastic grass blades to the same length with scissors.

At the end, he celebrated by lighting a cigar and tossing the match on the ground, therefore setting light to the plastic turf.

The quips came thick and fast like machine-gun fire. Most hit the target. When Lee pondered whether to tell his in-laws that their lawn had been stolen, he realised it was implausible — as ‘criminals stick to their own turf’.

Slick, sophisticated comedy this was not but as it’s now in its ninth series it’s fair to say that the show has a dedicated following.

Yes, you can see the gags coming from a mile off but Lee Mack has such a likeable quality that he’s able to carry it off.

Above all, there is something charming about some good, old British slapstick.

Last night, in the first episode of the new series, Lee (right) had to look after his in-law’s house while they were on holiday

The humour turned darker immediately afterwards with the first episode in a new series of Still Game (BBC1).

Written by Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, who also star in the programme, it’s the story of a gang of Glaswegian pensioners struggling with the modern world.

Last night the pair were horrified to discover that their favourite pub, The Clansman, had been given a trendy make-over. There was fancy food and the pulled pints had been replaced by bottled craft beer.

‘Pulled pork? What’s wrong with a slice of gammon?’ asked a horrified Victor (Hemphill).

Jack (Kiernan) agreed, telling the landlord that they refused to ‘stand around like a couple of hairdressers drinking bottled beer’.

The humour turned darker immediately afterwards with the first episode in a new series of Still Game (pictured)

In fact, it was all a ruse. The Clansman hadn’t been gentrified — it was a temporary measure to keep out the locals in order to arrange a surprise party for regular Isa. About to turn 72, Isa expected a surprise party for her every year. Then every year, due to her extreme nosey nature, she would set about trying to uncover the surprise beforehand.

Last night, the party came as a true shock to her — as did the naked man who fell through the pub ceiling.

Deliciously un-PC, many will sympathise with this group of curmudgeonly pensioners who don’t understand why things have to change.

Christopher Stevens is away

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