I have a confession to make – a lot of comedies and sitcoms I love I don’t actually laugh at. Yes, a smile plays about the lips, and my head registers a ‘oh that was quite clever, well done them’, but sound rarely emits from my lips. Grandma’s House and Getting On were two examples of me spending so much time thinking ‘this is rather good’ that I forgot to laugh.

The shows that break the barrier sometimes surprise me. The Big Bang Theory has become so mainstream I try to resist lest it damage my hipster credentials, yet somehow it always raises a few chuckles. Have I Got News For You gets the biggest laughs from me over silly little things, like a 4-year-old looking like Boris Johnson, rather than the deeper satire. Now joining that list is Car Share, the latest vehicle (sorry) for Peter Kay.

Kay over the last few years has fallen from the heights of comedy to someone who gets a kicking despite, or perhaps because of, having a large fan base. The criticisms revolve around him being too mainstream, too safe, just another Northern comedian making observations. Yet even his most recent stand-up sets have been strong and whip-smart. His comedy may be gentle to some but it is actually funny. Michael McIntyre inspires similar ire from the edges of comedy circles; people complaining that the likes of him and Key make comedy for office workers. Well, thank God somebody does.

Car Share is one of those ‘odd couple’ sitcoms. It pairs up professional misery-guts and workaholic John (Kay) with naïve eternal optimist Kayleigh (Sian Gibson). The pair bounce off each other and add value to each other’s lives. It is actually genuinely heart-warming, and as this friendship is underscored by Forever FM, the naff local radio station. The skewering of these broom-cupboard media operations lends a touch of daft satire to the show.

Kay’s critics won’t like it, not least because what unfurls is not only genuinely funny, but also slightly moving. John is a natural loner who over the episodes unfolds his story to his companion, and is brought out of his shell by his forward but sweet companion. Kayleigh to is alone, but instead of grumpiness has used her smile as a defence, and John helps her avoid the worst of life’s traps. So please, Kay, don’t be put off by the nay-sayers. They would never watch anything this kind, or funny.

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