Alan Sugar.

Alan Sugar

The BBC has a problem. It's in danger of losing the Wimbledon rights to a rival broadcaster. On top of that it's considered that the tournament is too staid, white and elitist.

Enter PR extraordinaire Siobhan Sharpe, who is tasked with the job of making Wimbledon cool and 'ethnically, not so much white'.

It was just one of the corporation's dilemmas witnessed in W1A (BBC Two), which returned for a new series with an hour-long special. It's the mock-umentary that mercilessly lampoons the Beeb in all its politically correct, management-speak glory.

Just like most of the employees Siobhan (played by the brilliant Jessica Hynes) communicates in meaningless, corporate parlance. 'Yah. Totally. Epic,' is her favourite soundbite. Her solution to the Wimbledon issue was to 'mash it up and pimp it' by calling it Win-bledon, getting people like Alan Sugar and David Attenborough to act as umpires while members of the crowd chant and wave giant foam fingers.

Meanwhile hapless Entertainment Format Executive David Wilkes is desperate to come up with a new family-viewing show following the spectacular failure of Britain's Top Village.

His suggestion is Heavy Petting, a reality show were celebrities swap pets. Alternatively there's Britain's Top Family, where a family of toffs and a family of chavs fight it out to decide who is better.

'That's what ITV is for,' snapped Anna Rampton, the steely, charmless Head of Output. She had a point. I bet I wasn't the only person imagining ITV executives watching last night, pen and paper in hand, furiously scribbling notes.

Jeremy Clarkson's endless gaffes must be manna from heaven for writer and director John Morton. Last night Head of Values Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) was investigating the number of times Clarkson (whose name was bleeped out) said the word 't*****' following viewer's complaints.

Posh, clueless intern Will had to sit through four years' worth of Top Gear counting the number of times the word was uttered -- and, naturally, he messed that up as well.

Amid all that, the BBC was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles to congratulate them on becoming the first 'zero energy broadcaster'.

The BBC's bungling Head of Security, who bragged about his 'foolproof zonal lock-down system', was as competent as Mr Bean, while producer Lucy Freeman was chosen to greet HRH for no other reason than the fact she was non-white.

Last night's opener was witty, wordy and frantic with David Tennant's voiceover hitting the mark perfectly. At times it felt like too much was being crammed in, leaving the viewer almost breathless by the end.

You have to credit the BBC for allowing its operation to be ripped apart so savagely. Everybody had a daft title, nobody knew what they were doing and all were too afraid to do their job for fear of upsetting somebody else.

If the bumbling buffoons of W1A are even halfway accurate then it's little wonder all the political parties are promising to either reduce or freeze the licence fee!

Claudia Connell, Daily Mail, 24th April 2015

Does the world really need another chat show? Decide for yourself as irrepressibly perky comedian Michael McIntyre tries to remind himself to shut up long enough to let his guests get a word in edgeways. Graham Norton, Alan Carr and Jonathan Ross will scarcely be quaking in their boots at McIntyre's opening guest list: Lily Allen, Lord Alan Sugar and Sir Terry Wogan can all be relied on for a jolly anecdote but it's a pretty safe choice for an opening gambit. McIntyre will need something a little edgier if he's going to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 10th March 2014

The oft-mocked standup comedian tries his luck as a chatshow host, using his polite brand of charm to lure guests to the sofa in a new series. On a scale of Norton to Paxman, McIntyre's not likely to ruffle any feathers, and with Terry Wogan and Alan Sugar in the Beeb-heavy line-up that should suit his guests quite well. If the thought of Wogan dishing out chatshow tips makes you reach for the off button, wise mistress of controversy Lily Allen will also be on hand to liven matters up a bit.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 10th March 2014

Dave Gorman has turned the 'Powerpoint Presentation as Sketch Show' into something of an art form, getting comic mileage out of some pretty flimsy premises. Modern Life is Goodish is no exception, encouraging us to look a little closer and pay a little more attention: to terms and conditions, to pernicious marketing campaigns and, above all, to the internet.

Adam Buxton may do it darker and Alex Zane dumber, but they leave Gorman to plough the reasonably fertile middle ground of mocking idiots online, in this case as they debate Leap Years and non-news stories. Gorman's mounting incredulity becomes a little exhausting over the course of the hour and his climactic 'Found Poem' is overlong, but there are still plenty of laughs - and any time spent scrutinising Alan Sugar's doomed E-Mailer phone is never wasted. Goodish is about right.

Gabriel Tate, Time Out, 17th September 2013

The second series of this sitcom has intimations of a soap; despite being set in the world of espionage, this takes a back seat to day-to-day romantic and family intrigues. A strong cast is headed by Darren Boyd as Tim, whose precocious son Marcus tonight makes his aggressive bid to become school president. Mark Heap is the hapless headmaster, Miles Jupp plays the appalling Owen and Robert Lindsay also features, looking like Jon Culshaw impersonating Alan Sugar. A running joke involving a hooded interrogee is the highlight of this week's silliness.

David Stubbs, The Guardian, 15th October 2012

It was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to Harry Hill on Saturday.

For years now, TV Burp has pulled off the not inconsiderable trick of being both clever and stupid - often at the same time.

Gems from this week's show included "the Audrey back-pack" and telling Alan Sugar not to jump off the roof at the opening credits of The Apprentice.

The brilliant finale saw The Knitted Character, Amanda Lamb, two Hevvs from EastEnders, and Wagbo singing Adele.

Who could ever replace him (hint, hint)?

Jim Shelley, The Mirror, 26th March 2012

Video: Robert Lindsay's new spy role

Robert Lindsay tells BBC Breakfast that he has been told he resembles Lord Alan Sugar in the role of The Examiner in Spy.

BBC News, 14th October 2011

Sky 1 is producing some very decent comedy at the moment, the latest example of which is Spy. Darren Boyd stars as Tim, a recently divorced, directionless, unambitious 30-something stuck in a dead end sales assistant job. Stung by his nine year old son's contempt, he applies for a post within the civil service, only to be inadvertently recruited by MI5.

The show doesn't even bother explaining this particular plot contrivance, possibly because there is a lot of setting up to be getting on with, more likely because they have correctly guessed that nobody really cares. Everybody is impatient for hapless Tim to get on with some comedy spying.

Most of episode one was concerned with establishing the comic scenario, so it's probably too early to pass judgment on Spy. But there were some very encouraging jokes, the characters are interesting and Boyd displays an impressive aptitude for slapstick which, I suspect, will come in handy in the future.

The eminently watchable Robert Lindsay co-stars as Tim's suave but secretly alcoholic "control", bearing an altogether disconcerting physical resemblance to Alan Sugar. Although on this showing Sugar's recruitment policy would appear to be a lot more stringent than MI5's.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 13th October 2011