TELEVISION BRIEFING / Laughter in the dark

The bizarre NIGHTINGALES (10.30pm C4) flutter back onto our screens for a second series. The talented trio of Robert Lindsay (last seen on C4 as the paranoid politician Michael Murray in GBH), David Threlfall (in a Michael Bolton-style hairdo) and James Ellis (Z Cars) play three nightwatchmen from hell who while away the hours talking about Harold Pinter and smoking a lot. In tonight's episode, 'Silent Night', directed by Only Fools and Horses veteran Tony Dow, they are visited on Christmas Eve by a pregnant woman called Mary, who proceeds to give birth to several goldfish and enough cuddly toys to keep The Generation Game's conveyor belt stocked for months. Much discussion about allegories and parables ensues. Paul Makin's sitcom is certainly surreal; but is it funny?

(Photograph omitted)

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