Today, Radio 4, Tuesday
The Simon Day Show, Radio 4, Thursday
Talking and Not Talking, Radio 4, Tuesday

Tell us all the nice things, do, Mr Cameron

Sometimes Today's big political interviews make for uncomfortable listening, as some politician or other gets a good kicking. But there's always the overriding thought, "Yeah, but they deserve it," as they're skewered on some big issue of the day. John Humphrys and Jim Naughtie may be abrasive, but it's in a good cause.

On Tuesday, with the Prime Minister captive at the mic, Evan Davis – no Humphrys or Naughtie, he – had clearly decided he was going to stamp his supposed authority on proceedings. The way to do that, you'd think, would be to have lots of killer points and advance with courteous persistence.

Then there's the other way: assemble a bunch of relatively abstruse points of lesser national and international importance and advance by dint of hectoring, interrupting and laughing derisively every time the PM is allowed to open his mouth. It all seemed such a wasted opportunity. The subjects covered were dissent in the coalition, NHS finances, recycling-centre charges (!) and the royal succession – while the big stuff slipped out of the back door to avoid the waiting press.

Voting reform was off limits, "siloed off for another interview". But why didn't Davis ask him what the hell we're doing in Libya? Why didn't he seize him by the throat and hiss: "Your politically motivated cuts will lay waste to the United Kingdom! Discuss!"? Why didn't he ask why a government that received 36 per cent of the popular vote is setting itself out somewhere to the right of Jeremy Clarkson?

Look on the bright side, though: the Egregious Ineptitude of Evan Davis (which really should be the title of something) has given me the chance to record my first 1/5 rating since starting this gig. I feel like a proper critic.

The Simon Day Show comes from one of the unsung heroes of The Fast Show on TV, but it's a more laid-back pleasure. He takes a different character each week, kicking off with glum Yorkshire poet Geoffrey Allerton – a free-verse McGonagall and author of a not-very-miserable misery memoir: "Once I came downstairs wearing just my long socks and my dad threw a jar of Marmite at me .... He went into the garden and took out his frustration on the rhubarb."

If that's a slow-burner, Laura Solon'sTalking and Not Talking is rapid-fire and harder-edged and shows that BBC comedy is still alive and kicking. I liked Dargon the alien invader falling foul of health and safety legislation, and the posh MP – "When I was Minister for Rural Affairs I had to visit over two farms." And I loved the former East European tyrant over here looking for work: "People used to call me 'Olga the aaaaagh!'" She'd have had Evan Davis for breakfast.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin teaches Clara to shoot an arrow
doctor who
Arts and Entertainment
Queen Christina left the judges baffled with her audition
X Factor
Arts and Entertainment
The Vienna State Opera
opera
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'
musicLilly Wood and Robin Schulz bag number one single
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.

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories
    Ashya King: We need to stop being cowardly about death

    We need to stop being cowardly about death

    Ashya King's story has made us confront the idea of terminal illness, in an age when we've lost the ability to discuss how we face our final days
    They talk the talk, but do our leaders have the stomach to face up to the Russians?

    They talk the talk, but do our leaders have the stomach to face up to the Russians?

    Nato has a commitment to defend the Baltic states, unlike Ukraine. But those in charge seem less than committed, says Rupert Cornwell
    Heaven on wheels: Meet the skateboarding padre

    Heaven on wheels: Meet the skateboarding padre

    Skateboards are no longer just for kids, the oldies are getting in on the act too
    Can breakdance divert the young men of Tunisia from the killing fields of Iraq and Syria?

    Can breakdance save the Arab Spring generation?

    Sarfraz Manzoor gets down with the B-boys (and girls) of north Africa
    Face of an angel, but has Cara Delevingne the talent to act?

    Face of an angel, but has Cara Delevingne the talent to act?

    A film based on the Meredith Kercher murder is a challenging first role for the supermodel