It's Dee-Day on the EU referendum debate
I don't know if you've noticed, but there's currently a bit of a flap on over Europe.
Apparently, two different sets of people living in tented villages – the Leave camp and the Remain camp – are shouting at each other about faceless bureaucrats, immigration and the curviness or otherwise of cucumbers.
To be honest, it’s become increasingly hard to find the actual relevant snatches of fact from all the white noise of the Eu Referendum debate. It’s like listening to AM radio while attempting to find the football on Five Live – every so often you can make out what’s going on before the static breaks in again.
So, to whom can we turn in an effort to sort the Brexiteers from the Remainiacs, the Innies from the Outies, the EU lovers from Eww, no haters?
Jack Dee, that’s who.
Yes, professional wet blanket Jack Dee, who is in two new series attempting to make sense of the whole referendum hokey-cokey.
Quite what qualifies the dour-faced miserabilist to bring us the latest news from the EU frontline is not clear, but it is obvious that one of his attempts is better than the other.
Jack Dee’s Referendum Helpdesk (BBC2, Wednesdays, 10pm) was a light-hearted relief from the previous hour’s Farage v Cameron platitude-off on ITV.
Dee chaired an undemanding half-hour in which a panel of Romesh Ranganathan, Anita Rani, Katherine Ryan and Henning Wehn answered audience questions such as: “If the UK leaves the EU, would Starbursts have to go back to being Opal Fruits?”
Funny, occasionally illuminating, it was a good watch, with Rani being especially sparky and German comic Wehn coming good in his one-man mission to prove the existence of a Teutonic sense of humour.
Dee also stars in Power Monkeys (Channel 4, Thursdays, 10pm), which is not so successful. Written at the last-minute by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin (Drop the Dead Donkey), it stars Dee as a member of the Conservatives’ Unity Unit, attempting to keep the Tories together after the referendum.
The thing is, there are also scenes on a Brexit battlebus, in Vladimir Putin’s office, and aboard a jet carrying US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Some of the jokes are good – “The Tory Party has always been a broad church.” “What? A place where they murder people?” – but to often it misses the target, and it’s difficult work out what the Trump and Putin bits are doing there.
Mind you, it says a lot that a half-hour show featuring four comedians and a Countryfile presenter was the most cogent piece of TV on the EU referendum this week.