If you are ever struggling to explain ‘that famous British sense of humour’ to a foreigner you could do worse than point them towards Radio 4’s evergreen ‘antidote to quiz shows’ I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
Sadly, you will probably have to explain the programme itself to them, as it is the comedy equivalent of Brain of Britain: parochial, wilfully obscure, self-regarding and deeply old-fashioned. It is also an extremely funny illustration of the national obsession with word-play, in-jokes and notably filthy double entendre.
The programme has been running for 30 years now with a virtually unchanged cast. If you are missing it (it’s short run has finished for the year), there is a 30th anniversary website which contains some representative clips, though very little of ‘Mornington Crescent’, the well-known comedy game that is neither intrinsically funny nor, indeed, a game, and is perversely loved for those very reasons.
British humour; it’s a mystery to me, too.