REVIEW / Who comes over all soppy about sows?

AND WE welcome to the chair our first contestant. Your name, please? 'Jonathan Meades.' And your profession? 'Jonathan Meades.' Your specialist subject, please? 'Jonathan Meades.' Jonathan Meades, you have two minutes on the subject of Jonathan Meades starting . . . now.

Who writes and presents a quirky series called Further Abroad on BBC2? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. Although the series deals with topics that go to the core of Britishness, what is its real subject? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. In last night's programme, 'The Truth About Porkies', you argued that 'we find it difficult to respect an animal that so surely reminds us of ourselves'. Was the viewer reminded of any self in particular? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.

You started an entertaining essay by stating that 'the finest, fondest way to show affection for an animal is to eat it', and ended it by tucking into a sizzling roast suckling pig: name the television personality least likely to be named Vegetarian of the Year. 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. Until he came over all soppy about sows, which rigorously intellectual television presenter would you have presumed to be all head and no heart? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.

Who originated the amusing though sometimes also infuriating technique of saying a sentence to camera and then marching out of shot? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. Who of the following would you back to win a general knowledge quiz: Peter Scissorhands, Gloria Honey Word, Anne Dire Mons, or Jonathan Meades? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.

Which of the following presenters with their own programme on last night is least likely to become a much loved household name: Louise Doughty (First Reaction, C4), Kate Bellingham and Howard Stableford (Tomorrow's World, BBC1), Ruth Langsford (The Great British Garden Show, BBC2), or Jonathan Meades? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct. For his ability to stimulate and infuriate in equal measure, which restaurant reviewer for a cut-price paper should there always be a pew for in television's broad church? 'Jonathan Meades.' Correct.

If the BBC - 'Beep, beep, beep' - I've started so I'll finish: if the BBC asked you to present an infomercial series about road safety, what should your answer be? 'Pass.' Correct.

Alexei Sayle now has two shows on the go. On Thursday, in his comedy vehicle, the aim is to be dangerous; on Friday, in a new infomercial series about road safety, the aim is to be safe. Someone once said that Clive James, when he had concurrently running shows on the two BBC channels, one highbrow and the other low, was television's first split personality. Sayle must be the second.

At least he's finally landed his own series on BBC1, the moment most alternative comedians know they've made it; he may have to spout stacks of statistics about deaths from road accidents, but with stats it's the way you tell 'em.

Sayle is probably a perfect choice for this punchy 10-minute slot. It isn't aimed at young drivers who any minute now will be wrapping their parents' motor round a lamppost, because that audience group is never watching just before The Nine O'Clock News. So getting a teen idol like David Baddiel to do it was out. Middle- aged to old drivers tend to know how to avoid running over innocent, three-foot- tall pedestrians, so the fogies' choice, Bob Monkhouse, was no good.

What was needed was a comedian who has grown up in tandem with the company-car drivers you see in the ads for German suavemobiles. He may be a suedehead, but Sayle becomes less of a leftie every time he's spotted by a camera crew. He leavens this sermon with levity, and it may well be that this series will even save a few lives: the highest art, lest we forget, entertains and educates at the same time. If he gets any safer, he'll be fronting Crime Monthly (ITV). And Jonathan Meades might fly.

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable