In any list of funniest TV scenes, the clip is second only to Del Boy falling through the bar, and it’s the reason why all these years on I can still reel off Victor Meldrew’s phone number (“4291”).

The moment when Britain’s grumpiest man picks up a dachshund puppy instead of the phone duly claims its spot in One Foot in the Grave: 30 Years of Laughs (Channel 5, Friday). It’s a measure of the comedy’s quality that there are so many classic scenes - enough, together with tributes from admirers and interviews with cast and crew, for a 90-minute special.

David Renwick’s creation made its first appearance in January 1990 and would go on to draw audiences just shy of 20 million at the height of its popularity. Not bad for a show that rebelled against generally accepted rules of the sitcom trade. The central characters were pensioners, Victor (Richard Wilson in his first lead role) was a misery guts who would get on anyone’s nerves, and the humour was sometimes as bleak as the grave. Remember the cat in the freezer?

Yet Remnick and his cast turned everything to their advantage. Victor became the voice of a generation fed up with people throwing litter into gardens, idiotic delivery men, petty jobsworths, rude drivers - the whole bang lot of them as Victor would say. This was Thatcher’s Britain and Victor was having none of its get rich quick, no such thing as society selfishness.

In keeping with the times, Victor was made redundant in the first episode from his job as a security guard. Replaced by a machine that would do the same thing as him at a fraction of the cost. He was only 60 and felt thrown on the scrap heap. What would he do all day? Drive wife Margaret (fellow Scot Annette Crosbie) mad for a start.

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Among the talking heads are Wilson and Remnick, Angus Deayton, who played neighbour Patrick, Doreen Mantle (Mrs Warboys), Paul Merton, who appeared in the last episode, Jan Ravens of Dead Ringers fame, plus superfan and former BBC political correspondent John Sergeant.

Everything is explored in detail, from Victor’s catchphrase and the theme song to the famous episode where the Meldrews and Mrs Warboys are stuck in bank holiday traffic. The latter was supposed to be taking place in summer; in reality it was mid-winter and bitterly cold. It would not be the first time Victor/Richard would suffer for his art.

The Herald: Jim and Nancy MoirJim and Nancy Moir (Image: free)

His catchphrase lives on, and the comedy, as seen here, stands the test of time. Treat yourself.

Comedy is a funny old thing, chapter two. Look at Vic and Bob. Who would have thought the surreal comedy duo would grow up to become presenters of cosy programmes about fishing and watercolour painting? Then again, why not? As we see in Painting Birds with Jim and Nancy Moir (free to air Sky Arts, Wednesday), there’s a lot to recommend the quieter life.

Moir (the artist formerly known as Vic Reeves) is 64 now and an accomplished artist. Painting and birds are his passions, plus of course wife Nancy. She came later to birding but is now just as thrilled by the sight of a curlew or a peregrine falcon as the rest of the binocular-carrying brigade. In each of the six episodes, the pair go off in search of a particular bird that Jim will eventually paint. Along the way they interview local wildlife experts and meet up with bird-watching friends, among them Chris Packham and Edwyn Collins.

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There’s a lot of laughter here, between Mr and Mrs Moir especially, and some echoes of the old Vic and his madcap ways. Add the painting, the birds and the magnificent scenery (and that’s before they head north to eagle country) and the hour flies by (pun intended, sorry).

The Herald: Shirley Ballas is one of the celebrity guests staying in B&B By the SeaShirley Ballas is one of the celebrity guests staying in B&B By the Sea (Image: free)

For those still in need of a chill pill there is B&B By the Sea (BBC2, Monday-Friday, 6.30pm). The format is fish and chips simple. Take one guesthouse, in this case a Victorian B&B on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, invite a celebrity to stay (because they don’t get enough free holidays), get them involved in an activity, and watch as the stresses of showbusiness drift away with the clouds.

In Monday’s episode it is Shirley Ballas, head judge on Strictly, trying her hand at cooking and pottery and visiting a local pig farm before pronouncing herself in love with the B&B by the Sea.

This much activity on a holiday wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of Twinings, but it doesn’t take too much effort to watch others keeping themselves busy and each episode is an easily digestible half-hour long.

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After all that chillaxing you’ll be ready for the fray on Nicky Campbell (BBC2, Monday to Friday, 9am). Yes it is his Radio 5 Live show but now you can see as well as hear the sharp-witted Scot as he slices and dices the day’s news.