Limmy’s Homemade Show****

BBC Scotland

GUY walks into a room and starts talking to himself. Guy spends ages engaged in pointless task to pass the time. Guy appears to be going slowly insane.

Not life in lockdown Britain but business as usual on Limmy’s Handmade Show, the comedy so surreal the credits should be painted by Dali.

Brian “Limmy” Limond does nothing as conventional as telling a joke. Dear God, no.

Do not expect a series of set ups and punchlines, Only Fools and Horses-style, from this Glaswegian.

No cuddly chummy stuff, and will-they-won’t-they romance as in Peter Kay’s Car Share.

Limmy is hardcore, brittle, slightly scary, and off the money more times than he is on it, but when his material works it sings like Connolly’s and can be as funny as Bridges’.

This new three part series follows a pilot last year not long after the new BBC Scotland channel had launched. As before, it will be premiered on BBC Scotland before going network on BBC2.

Shot by himself in his flat, Limmy plays all the parts. He also the writer, producer, sound recordist, and editor. He probably did the location catering, too, and had a quick whip round with the vacuum before switching on the camera.

When not in his flat he is out and about in Glasgow at various venues. “This here is the international financial district of Glesga,” he tells the camera. “It’s offices … When I see offices like these it makes me so grateful that I don’t yet have to go back to having a real job.”

Note that “yet”. Limmy was one of the first to make "do it yourself" videos on his phone and upload them to social media. Now everyone and their granny is at it.

Besides his television work he is best known for popping up on Twitter whenever a celebrity passes away to say he once had the pleasure of meeting so and so at a charity do, and that they were “ surprisingly down to earth, and VERY funny”. Many are the unwitting TV researchers who have fallen for that one.

In the first episode, besides wondering what it would be like working in an office, he teaches a masterclass in techno and how to rile the crowd into throwing bottles at you, riffs on contactless payments, and wonders what the numbers on a toaster mean.

In a later episode he treats a creepy intruder as if he is a woodland creature that has wandered in by mistake (“I’m sure he’s as scared as I am.”) It all sounds bizarre because it is. Limmy is so far down the rabbit hole he may never see daylight again.

While he has his own particular brand of absurdism, he is part of a long tradition in Scottish comedy of surrealist humour stretching from Chic Murray and Lex McLean to Arnold Brown. Billy Connolly’s finest routines are the most fantastic flights of imagination that start at a point familiar to the audience before ending up who knows where.

That said, the most successful sketches in the first episode were of the more conventional variety. In one he managed to take something as simple as an arrow chalked on the pavement leading him into an underpass and mine three pretty decent gags from it. It was almost silent comedy, with his face doing a lot of the heavy lifting. A Glesga Buster Keaton no less.

Some of the material fell flat, the social media chat felt dated, and three half hour episodes might be pushing it. Older now and a father, he is losing a bit of his punk edge (a routine about friendships forged at the school gates anyone?).

But I did laugh at the sheer daftness of some of it. I don’t think Limmy will have to worry about taking an office job to pay the mortgage for a long time yet, if ever.

BBC Scotland Friday, repeated on BBC2 Sunday, and on iPlayer