A grateful nation looks heavenwards and sighs, “Thank goodness that's over.” Not the festive period, which still has a few days to go, but Mrs Brown’s Boys (BBC1, Christmas Day).

The Radio Times called Brendan O’Carroll’s comedy a “festive fixture”. So is food poisoning, but who wants that every year?

In the seasonal special, Mrs B’s daughter Cathy acquired a weird new boyfriend by the name of “Boris”. While no one could quite put their finger on the cause of his strangeness, everything pointed to his being a vampire (natch). You can find out for sure on New Year’s Day if you must. Otherwise, see you in 12 months, Mrs B. If we must.

Mayflies (BBC Scotland, Tuesday-Wednesday) not only restored your faith in Scottish drama, it did a pretty decent repair job on humanity besides. Adapted from Andrew O’Hagan’s novel, Martin Compston and Tony Curran played lifelong pals Jimmy and Tully.

We knew the score from early doors: Tully had cancer, four months left at best. He knew how he wanted to make his exit, but needed Jimmy’s help. So began a tug of love battle between the pair. Jimmy warred with his conscience, while Tully’s wife, Anna (Ashley Jensen) was fiercely opposed from the off.

If you were a certain age (knew all the words to Oblivious, for instance), Mayflies will have been something of an all our yesterdays production. But you didn’t need to be Scottish, to be anything, to recognise that this was first-class drama up there with The Crow Road.

Raw, honest and true about everything from fathers and sons to friendship and the importance of letting the past go, I found myself not wanting it to end. When was the last time any of us said that about a production?

Superb performances all round (special hat tip to the actors playing the young Tully and Jimmy), and Glasgow scrubbed up well to boot. Not to be missed.

Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked (BBC2, Tuesday) found the actor on home turf, having become a citizen of Oz a decade ago. What she wanted to find out from this new three-part series was whether Australia was still the egalitarian, “give a bloke a fair go”, place it prided itself on being.

What this viewer wanted to know was when Miriam ever had a minute to unpack her suitcase. By now she seems to have explored most of the planet, including Scotland (twice).

The drill here was familiar: travel to destination, meet people, draw life lesson, rinse and repeat. It helped that it was somewhere relatively unfamiliar, but after the first half hour I did begin to wonder if we had reached peak Miriam by now.

She redeemed herself, as ever, with her fearlessness, as when she met a chap with a big mansion built centuries ago by a convict workforce. “Slave labour,” said Miriam, summing up the situation. The air froze. “Not slave labour but very strictly run, okay?” replied the owner. Oh dear, said Miriam, I do hope I haven’t touched a nerve. You carry on, my love.

The Herald: The cast of Prince Andrew: The Musical, with Kieran Hodgson second from rightThe cast of Prince Andrew: The Musical, with Kieran Hodgson second from right (Image: Channel 4)

Marie Antoinette (BBC2, Thursday) was one of those international co-productions featuring a smorgasbord of accents.

When we met the titular heroine she was an Austrian teenager about to be married off to a French teenager, the Dauphin. “Ze fate of millions of people rests on your slim shoulders,” she is told. “She ees the final piece in the 'absburg-Bourbon puzzle,” observes another.

Given some of the stiff-as-a-corset dialogue, it was a surprise to discover the writer was Deborah Davis, Oscar-nominated for The Favourite (Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz). It’s early days so it may yet improve, and the two young principals, Emilia Schule and Louis Cunningham look promising. Best of all is the depiction of Versailles as a nest of vipers and assorted freaks who mark the young couple’s marriage night by chucking sweets at them in bed.

If you have seen Kieran Hodgson on Two Doors Down, or on one of his much-shared internet skits, then you’ll know he is one of the funniest young turns around. To his cv as an actor, writer, and impressionist he can now add “musical star”.

Prince Andrew: The Musical (Channel 4, Thursday) would never have been screened by the BBC. But here it was, the soup to nuts story of “Elizabeth’s favourite son” and certain friends of his. Hodgson, playing Andrew, also wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the music.

The comedy could have been more biting, but what a talent, and a hoot, Hodgson is. With some tweaks this could transfer straight to the theatre. But who would dare?