If somebody asked me what kind of TV progammes I enjoy most, I’d have to say game shows and quizzes. In times gone by this might have defined me as a shallow and combative type, but these days my favourite quizzes offer witty, cerebral and satirical material in completely non-competitive style.
There’s QI, lorded over by Stephen Fry as the benign omniscient being, challenging all that we thought we certainly knew.
In Shooting Stars, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer borrow from Monty Python and Spike Milligan to create their own 21st century version of 'zany’.
Have I Got News For You is now a fully-fledged British institution of political satire, while Dara Ó Briain’s Mock The Week follows in that tradition, adding the improvisational flair of Whose Line is It Anyway?
Never Mind The Buzzcocks might not be the same since the loss of its excruciating host Simon Amstell, but it still serves to raise a smile as it plays with world of modern music, while Jimmy Carr’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats has improved and become sharp enough now to cut the burlesque mustard.
Watching the above I’m entertained by parody, mayhem and mirth, informed by caricature and educational truffles. Nobody in any of these shows gives a toss about scoring points or who wins or loses.
Not sure why that makes me feel so good, but it does. Maybe there’s hope for us all.