TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Playground humour

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The Independent Culture
The latest star player to make the big-money transfer from radio light entertainment to TV is IT'S A MAD WORLD, WORLD, WORLD, WORLD (9pm BBC2) - known in its previous life as And Now in Colour. While Flip Webster, Caroline Aherne, Alistair McGowan, Tim De Jongh and William Vandyck perform some jokes that should not have been allowed out of the school playground, they are at their best spinning together a carpet of running gags. Hostage-taking is one strand - which culminates in a group that hasn't actually taken any hostages yet, but still bellows out its demands - 'More park-and-ride facilities in Epping' - by megaphone. Another concerns an Open University lecturer so desperate for viewers not to switch off during his dissertation on the History of Mathematical Logic that he takes to wearing a purple spangled jacket, juggling and offering out handfuls of cash. Other targets well struck include The Late Show (an item on a poet who wrote verses for greetings cards) and Richard Stilgoe (his version of the James Bond theme). And how can you complain about any show that features a long sketch on the love life of Subbuteo football-players?

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