The Graham Norton Show, Food Inspectors and The Fast Show – best TV on tonight

Forget going out - tune into our top telly picks for tonight Friday 23 May

The Food Inspectors – 8pm, BBC1


The look of a food outlet doesn’t always give a clue as to potential hygiene issues. For instance, a gorgeous new café in Oxford, selling artisan bread and home-made cakes looks scrupulously clean, rustic and healthy. But the food inspectors point out that the uncovered display of baked goods is susceptible to bacteria if customers sneeze over them. They quickly put it right, but it makes you wonder what goes on in more obviously scruffy premises. 

Also under investigation are yogurts boasting “healthy bacteria”, confusion over imported fish (can you tell your cod from your pangasius?), the fallout from the horsemeat scandal and how to spot dangerously undercooked chicken liver pâté.

The Fast Show – 10pm, BBC2

It‘s been a while since lovably awkward pair Ted and Ralph appeared on our screens, but this isn’t quite the new dawn it might seem. As die-hard Fast Show fans will know, Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse et al revived the characters for an online-only lager-sponsored series (cheers, Foster’s) that started in 2011. Here, those sketches are broadcast for the first time on actual TV to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. 

So there’s another chance to see Rowley Birkin QC burble his way through an incomprehensible anecdote (which can only end one way) and we pay a fresh visit to Jazz Club (“Nnnice!”) to see an over-the-hill crooner. Best of all, for those who fondly remember generic cop show Inspector Monkfish, John Actor is back, this time as “a tough uncompromising butler”.

The Graham Norton Show – 10:35pm, BBC1

Amazingly, it’s 50 years since Mary Poppins wafted in to number 17 Cherry Tree Lane for the Disney version of PL Travers’s novel. So, although guest Julie Andrews isn’t likely to arrive clutching a carpet bag and a parrot-headed brolly, she’ll probably chat a little about one of her best-loved film roles.

Perching next to her on the Norton sofa are Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, stars of action comedy film 22 Jump Street. And, no doubt making everybody “Happy” and wearing an oversized hat, is Pharrell Williams who performs Marilyn Monroe.


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