I MIGHT sound like a grumpy old grandad who’s out of step with everything that’s cool and trendy but really: what’s all this fuss about Tracey Ullman? Is it the young folk who like her? Hardly. She became a superstar in America and when she returned to the BBC last year with great fanfare I’m sure most young viewers wouldn’t have known her name.

So maybe it’s the older generation who love her?

Surely not. They came of age when comedy was funny, living through the surreal stuff of Monty Python and Spike Milligan, so why would they settle for Tracey Ullman?

Is it the 40-somethings, then? They grew up in the 1980s, in the wonderful age of alternative comedy, and were then blessed with Seinfeld.

But wait …when Ullman re-appeared last year I did a bit of Googling and found that she was actually a star of that alternative comedy scene before going to America.

Apparently everyone adored her. Because I am under the age of 40, this was news to me, and, having watched her show, I still find it hard to believe.

Is this an example, perhaps, of what the Trump crowd call “fake news”?

When they hear something they don’t like and they stamp their meaty feet and screech that it’s all made up?

I just find it hard to believe that the cool people who were into alternative comedy are now pulling up a chair to watch her awful BBC series.

So who is watching Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC1, Friday)? Own up. It must be someone.

It must be pulling in the punters because it was given a second series, which started last night and is going to go on for another six interminable weeks.

But then Citizen Khan keeps being granted new series on BBC1, as does Mrs Brown’s Boys, so the simple fact of being present on the channel is no indicator of comic talent.

You could even argue the opposite, given that the best TV comedies in recent years have either been BBC2, BBC3 or Channel 4. It’s the broad, sagging, tiresome stuff that gets put out on prime-time BBC1. The last series of Tracey Ullman’s Show was stuffed full of impressions of Angela Merkel, Judi Dench and Nicola Sturgeon.

Ullman would stick on some prosthetics and a wig and start capering.

It was mildly funny,and I’ll admit her Merkel was good.

But it starts to grate when she does it again and again and again. So there was dismay when I watched last night’s show and found the same old nonsense.

More Judi Dench sweeping dramatically around town and getting away with various crimes because she’s a “national treasure.”

There was more stern Merkel, stomping and barking, and there was more Nicola Sturgeon portrayed as a nippy sweetie.

Ullman’s Sturgeon sketch took place in some dungeon festooned with flags and banners which were obviously aping the swastika. On a chair in the centre of the room was a hooded figure tied to a chair.

This was JK Rowling. Sturgeon and “ma wee Scottish terrier”, Mhairi Black, had kidnapped her because she doesn’t like Scotland and won’t eat shortbread.

I’m not precious or prickly when it comes to jokes about Scotland – as long as it’s funny then I’ll laugh – but this was trash.

When Trump is talking about bringing back torture, it was cheap and distasteful to see JK Rowling tied up, blinded with a hood, and being head-butted. If you missed the show, don’t fret. It is so repetitive I’m sure she’ll do the exact same sketch next week.

Or maybe there will be a burst of splendid creativity and, instead, she’ll give us Mhairi Black dishing out a Glesga Kiss to Theresa May, or Sturgeon trying to force-feed haggis to Boris Johnson? This from such a comedy “star”? She should be embarrassed.

FROM something silly and repetitive, let’s jump to something gargantuan and unpredictable. The first series of The Grand Tour (Amazon) finished yesterday and surely left skid marks on Chris Evans’ heart.

I loved Top Gear despite not being a driver, and only able to tell cars apart by their colour, so obviously I’d hoped The Grand Tour would have the same cheeky charm. The desired “cheeky charm” was often lacking because The Grand Tour sounds so obviously scripted.

Top Gear, of course, was scripted but its chat seemed so funny and casual that you could easily forget.

Not so with The Grand Tour, which often feels like we’re watching a self-conscious pantomime. Perhaps the lads just need to settle in, and the second series will feel more oiled and smooth.

Where the show lacks in casual banter, it excels in big, spectacular stunts, offering us expeditions and madcap projects which the BBC’s budget would never have allowed.

The most memorable of these was when they turned their beach buggies into cable cars and winched them across a foaming Namibian river full of crocodiles.

This was pitched at just the right level of excitement, but they sometimes went overboard, trying far too hard to impress and show off their money, such as with the endless, overblown sketch where they played at being gun-toting adventurers.

I use the word “sketch” deliberately as the series often felt like a comedy sketch show where some bits were brilliantly funny and others fell flat.

In the next series I hope there will be more consistency and that they don’t feel the need to wave their wallets around so much.