OK this is a bit of an odd subject I know. With two young boys generally dominating what we watch on TV and the fact that I'm usually too tired to stay up and watch anything I'd actually want to see, I tend to find most TV I watch these days is just what happens to be on when I'm in the room. To this end I have found a fondness for a number of TV shows that I wouldn't usually have passed the time of day for.
2. Would I Lie To You
3. Never Mind The Buzzcocks
4. Have I Got News For You
5. Annually Retentive
Q.I. - Can you see what they've done there? Quite Interesting is chaired by the eminently watchable Stephen Fry and is both extremely funny and ... quite interesting. I love trivia and this program is full of it. Fry displays a passion for the subject and a depth of knowledge that I am sure does not just come from having decent researchers. Alan Davis is the only regular panellist but his anti-intelligent approach to the show complements Fry's gentle quips perfectly.
Would I Lie To You - Possibly much higher than it deserves to be but the main reason for this is the involvement of David Mitchell. There are not many programs that I will actually laugh out loud while watching but this is one. Mitchell really makes me laugh. A lot. Lee Mack is also a suitable foil for Mitchell and Angus Deaton has found himself a role in which he can exactly replicate his performance as HIGNFY host without making the BBC look bad for taking him off the show in the first place.
Never Mind The Buzzcocks - Well it's about music so it's bound to work for me anyway. I'm also a big fan of Mark Lamarr so when it first aired it was essential viewing. It definitely started to flag towards the end of Lamarr's spell though so I was very surprised when Simon Amstell took over and actually made it better. He's probably over stepped the mark a few times but there's not much funnier than seeing a big headed rock star fail to see the funny side of a particularly cutting remark.
Have I Got News For You - This seems like its been on telly almost as long as the Simpsons. I kind of take it for granted these days and don't watch that regularly, but whenever I do I am amazed that it is still hitting the mark. The introduction of guest hosts each week has probably helped keep it fresh and put's Merton and Hislop firmly in control of the humour.
Annually Retentive - A comedy quiz show about the filming of a comedy quiz show. Brilliant. Rob Brydon is perfect as the self obsessed host and the cutting between the "real show" and behind the scenes really works. There's added value from the inclusion of, my current favourite comedian, Dave Gorman as a regular panelist.