TV Highlights

W1A

BBC Two - 9pm

Who's in it?

Once again proving that – despite Downton – his REAL talent is for comedy, Hugh Bonneville was at his hapless, world-weary best in the return of this winning comedy.

In a nutshell

If The Office perfectly summed up the beige banality of average provincial admin jobs, W1A completely encapsulates the central London equivalent: a sleek warren of glass-walled offices and "interactive spaces" filled with buzzword-spewing interns and blank-eyed Millennials who think everything is “cool”. Stranded within this terrifying world is Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) who's about as comfortable and well-adjusted as a stegosaurus bumping its nose against an iPad.

The series returned last night with a pitch-perfect episode that painfully skewered various media absurdities, including the whole Clarkson fiasco (his name being bleeped out at every turn). We also had an impending visit by Prince Charles, which had everyone in a tizzy, literally dashing down the maze-like corridors of the Beeb, bumping into anonymous drone men in lonely offices, and dealing with stony-faced security guards. It could have been silly and slapstick. But it was wonderful.

What's the verdict?

Full of beautiful throwaway gags by deadpan narrator David Tennant (including his remark about Top Gear being a “hit sitcom”), W1A may well be the single best British comedy on the box. Never have irritating media types been so funny.

Star rating: 4/5

Check out W1A on Virgin TV Anywhere

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07-07-2011