W1A returns and hits the ground running. The BBC is up for charter renewal and so these are tense times for the corporation and it needs people like Head of Values Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) to steady the ship, stop it from hitting an iceberg and/or sinking etc, etc.

The trouble is that our Brompton-riding hero is surrounded by jargon-spouting idiots. In one crowded, noisy meeting early on in tonight's episode, for example, it looks like a lot is being said but at the end of it all that has happened is that three people have been sent to Salford – at my expense – to investigate a potential controversy over a cross-dressing footballer being turned down for a job as a Match of the Day pundit. Is the BBC transphobic or was he just rubbish?

Elsewhere Siobhan Sharpe's PR-guff specialists Perfect Curve (including Coco Lomax, played by Sara Pascoe) have been taken over by Dutch company Fun Media – "this is a happy building" – who keep morale up by stopping for a brief silent disco whenever a hooter goes off. Sharpe (Jessice Hynes) is having to readjust, but as everything is always supercool for her anyway she soon gets on board, even when they come up with the frankly pointless user-generated online concept BBC Me, which, as Ian Fletcher observes, sounds a lot like YouTube.

I've never worked for the BBC but I've worked for enough organisations in the past to recognise the situations here, where daily life is one long struggle to retain your sanity. The way ideas get appropriated and altered particularly rings a bell – intern Will (Hugh Skinner) has an idea for a bike-based series, but before you can say Great British Bike Off his baby is being pinched and pitched by someone else and soon it doesn't even seem like the original idea anyway. 

Writer John Morton's skill is to come up with a fine-tuned series that exquisitely satirises the BBC and broadcasting in particular but also a certain kind of modern workplace management culture in general. It's a very different desk-based world to David Brent, yet in its own way just as recognisable. Oh, and David Tennant's inane nonsensical narration is, as ever, a thing of beauty.

W1A, Mondays from September 18, 10pm, BBC2.


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