New rule: never recommend anything to anyone. There is no point, as whatever you’re recommending will, by dint of entropic machinations as yet unexplained by science, descend into suckage.
Case in point: I recently discovered BBC Radio 4’s Friday Night Comedy podcast. It’s essentially Have I Got News For You on the radio, and is great. The panelists are usually excellent, but Sandi Toksvig and Jeremy Hardy so regularly reduce me to hysterics that it’s dangerous to listen while driving. So after a few weeks of enjoyment I emailed a couple of close friends with a recommendation. I felt quite pleased about this – here was a New Thing we could all enjoy. Then I listened to this week’s show.
One of the panelists was Mark Steel, who acts as the always-inexplicable boor in the corner, shouting obvious insults and generally sucking the warmth, charm and humour from the immediate area. As ever. I guess some people must find him entertaining, although it’s possible he gets invited onto these programmes to make everyone else sound better, but the show was awful as a result.
Guys! It is usually good! I promise!