HE’S arrived then. Matt Hancock, former Cabinet Minister, current Alan Partridge impersonator (job share with Richard Madeley), and all-round pillock, has turned up for his shift on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! (STV, daily).

There was us, thinking Westminster politics could not sink any lower, and along comes Hancock to limbo dance under the nearest snake.

Watching him grubbing around in the dirt, Ant and Dec were laughing so hard I thought they were going to pass out. It was funny, as long as you could forget all that pandemic stuff about people dying alone and nurses wearing bin bags in lieu of proper protective gear. Put all that to one side and he was freaking hilarious.

I can’t decide if Hancock’s hiring is political genius on the part of I’m a Celebrity or a gag too far. After the initial shock at Hancock’s appearance, it was notable how the mood in camp began to turn against him. It would not take too much for things to go Lord of the Flies in there. Just saying. Oh, and Matt, if you are wondering what is happening back here the nurses are going on strike. Turns out they can’t feed their kids on applause from the doorsteps.

Other stuff we learned from the telly this week: Barbra Streisand has a personal shopping mall in her basement; reindeer are competitive about breaking wind; and there will never be a time when some celebrity or other is not filming a travelogue in Scotland.

All three were gleaned from Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland and Beyond (Channel 4, Tuesday). Ms Margolyes and Mr Cumming, you may recall, have driven this way before. They were charming enough to be asked to do it all over again, and tack in a bit of America at the end. So here we were, with Miriam at a station in Scotland waiting for Alan to arrive with the newest member of the gang, his dog Lala.

Instinctively appreciating that there’s not much room left when Cummings and Margolyes are on the stage, Lala was shy, quiet and lovely, and stole the show in consequence. Her human companions tried to pinch it back, dashing onwards to the Cairngorms (home to flatulent reindeer), Dundee (to meet lovely luvvie Brian Cox), Luss (where young Cumming filmed Take the High Road) and ending up at Loch Lomond where Alan, an ordained minister (internet division) oversaw a renewal of vows. Lala kept her cool throughout.

Cummings and Margolyes make fine travelling companions, her with her cussing and him with his eye rolls. There must be odder couples, but it is hard to think of any.

The English (BBC2, Thursday) was a rum do. Written by Hugo Blick, creator of classy, female-led dramas including The Honourable Woman and Black Earth Rising, it had a terrific cast led by Emily Blunt, and the Wild West setting meant big skies and wide open spaces the likes of which you only usually see in the movies. The plot promised much: English lady out to avenge the death of a loved one teams up with a Pawnee scout who wants his stolen land back.

Plenty to commend The English then, yet it was a tough customer to like never mind love. The trouble began early doors when Lady Cornelia Locke, the character played by Blunt (an executive producer on the series), started to speak in one of those slow, breathy voices that are meant to convey something other-worldly but just sound as though the person is counting down from ten before an op. “It was in the stars (sigh) … and we believed (sigh) in the stars,” said Locke.

The stylised delivery of the actors was matched by the costumes, and the scenes, with everything set out just so, could have been taking place on a stage. It looked fabulous, but it kept the viewer at arm’s length. If that didn’t do the trick there were explosions of shocking violence and a gut-churning dinner scene in which Blunt and a companion (Ciaran Hinds) chewed their way through plates of … well, never mind. Let’s just say if we had wanted that kind of fare we would have watched I’m a Celebrity.

Since it’s Blunt, and the cast is so top drawer, some might be tempted to stick with it in the hope it becomes less art house cinema and more mainstream western. Count me out.

A far better way to pass the time was in the company of Hannah Fry, the presenter of The Secret Genius of Modern Life (BBC2, Thursday).

Prof Fry, a mathemetician by trade, is a born communicator and a television natural (she’s pretty good on the wireless as well). In the space of 60 minutes she set out the techo miracle that is a bank card in such a lucid, engaging way that even I understood some of it.

Now, dearest prof, if you could see your way clear to explaining Matt Hancock we’d be most grateful.