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Have you been watching Mum? It is the most wonderful sitcom the BBC has done in ages. As well as being achingly funny it’s a really moving love story, as Cathy comes to terms with the death of her husband and her feelings for her old friend Michael. While battling their own shyness and fears they have to contend with constant toe-curling embarrassment in front of friends and family, such as the nightmarish Pauline who is a character that Jane Austen would have been proud of.  She’s played by Dorothy Atkinson who brings a really sublime megalomania to lines like ‘That was Vodafone … they’re desperate to keep me’.

There’s nothing sublime or aspirational about Michael and Cathy’s relationship – it revolves around trips to the dump or the purchase of new garden chairs. But the stakes feel sky-high, partly because this is an older couple, who have been through so much already. Bby the end you’re watching through your fingers, desperate to know that they will get together. Stefan Golasewski, who wrote Mum, is also responsible for the brilliant Him and Her, which is also about an ordinary couple, in a tiny flat. He is a master at one of the harder things to do: making gold from the ordinary and everyday. Another lesson from Jane Austen …

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