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Taboo-buster Jo makes us laugh.

IF YOU'D have told me that one of the best programmes on telly this week was going to be a comedy set in the spoon-feeding world of a geriatric ward and starring Jo Brand, well, I'd probably have recommended you ask your doctor to up your medication.

But that's exactly what the taboo-busting Getting On turned out to be, a comedy blacker than the inside of the bronchial lungs of a 60-a-day smoker.

It's a place where the put-upon nurses roll condoms over the fire sprinklers so they can cadge a crafty fag in the loos and where the temptation to tuck into the untouched birthday cake of the 80-year-old woman who died in the night manages to be resisted all day.

That is, right up until the moment the deceased's next of kin walk in through the door and the bad news is broken with a mouth full of icing and half chewed jam sponge.

It's brilliantly squirmy stuff, not least the rigmarole over the discovery that someone's done a mystery poo on a chair while the nursing staff's backs were turned.

But upon going to wipe up the mess herself Brand's Sister Kim Wilde (no, not that one) is told they are no longer allowed to deal with anything defined as clinical waste anymore, and that "anything with any discharge in it of any description" requires phoning a contract cleaner and logging (no pun intended) the finding in a set of "critical incident" forms.

"What sort do you think it looks most like out of this lot?" she asks the matron, pondering which of the multiple choice options best described the stool. "It's definitely not black nuts, is it?" "No, no," replies her colleague. "I would say 'type four' - snake."

See what I mean? It's very dry.

The humour in Getting On, I mean, not the stool. Dry would've made it a "type six".


GETTING ON: Jo Brand and Joanna Scanlan
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 12, 2009

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