There comes a time in every comedian’s career, says Boyle, when its time to sign up for a televised jolly. If only they were all as hilarious as this spiky, Billy Connolly-style adventure

It is so rare that I laugh – actually laugh out loud – at a programme that I cannot remember the last time. I smile plenty – sometimes wryly, sometimes balefully, sometimes properly – sigh in appreciative recognition of a beautifully crafted joke often, and mentally prostrate myself before a cast member or members’ flawless comic timing often enough that it remains a precious joy. But I belly-laughed throughout Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland on BBC Two, and emerged much refreshed at the end of this half hour of him “reconnecting with Scotland, its people and its historical figures … [infinitesimally longer than necessary pause] and the many and varied ways in which English people killed them”.

Your mileage may vary of course. But as one of Boyle’s compatriots has it, for those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like. I personally can take about as much of Boyle’s low-energy monotone undercut by unexpected swerves, and low-energy exterior belying a sly, witty mind working a mile a minute, as you care to throw at me. If you can’t, there will be plenty of standard travelogues along in the very near future, I’m sure.

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