Sadly, however, it turned out to be an all-too-familiar trawl through the early days of music hall, variety and radio, with precious little of the Mitchell magic we know and love from his prolific radio and TV output.
A catch-all documentary series such as this is only really as good as its clips and contributors, so it was disappointing to find Mitchell, or his producer, rounding up the usual suspects - Michael Grade, Barry Cryer, Ken Dodd and token academic CP Lee, all of whose reflections on comedy have been documented to death over the years.
The country must be crawling with people with a different take on early British comedy and its connection to the comedy of today, as well as people in their 70s, 80s and 90s who saw the likes of Max Miller, Sid Field, Robb Wilton and Jimmy James in their heydays. Where were they?
By far the most vivid and original recollections of early comedy came from 91-year-old Denis Norden, a living encyclopedia of British comedy and variety who merits a documentary series to himself.Nick Smurthwaite, The Stage, 11th March 2013
It was even unfunnier than Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! which returned to Radio 4 on Wednesday morning. This show has its devotees. They are people who find the idea of a person who makes mistakes with words and is less grand than he thinks both hilarious and original.
In the Christmas spirit, I refer them to Sheridan's Mrs Malaprop (b 1775, still going strong), Mrs Feather (on the old Light Programme circa 1946) and the hovering spirit of the late, great Jimmy James.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 21st December 2010