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TV Preview, Soft Border Patrol (BBC2 Northern Ireland, BBC iPlayer, Friday 10.35pm): Brexit break-up comedy

One of the great joys of the BBC iPlayer is that it liberates a great deal of material it was impossible to access in pre-digital times. Political junkies, for example, can, if they want, spend much of their Sunday catching the dozen or so BBC regional reports from the Sunday Politics show. That way you can stay alert to developments in the Welsh Assembly, say, or in Northern Ireland.A slightly less arid way of keeping up with events in Northern Ireland is the new mockumentary Soft Border Patrol , broadcast, in conventional terms, only in Ireland but, as I say, now freely available sans frontieres across the British Isles on iPlayer. As the name suggests, it is set in the very near future of a post-Brexit island of Ireland, where Brussels, Stormont, Dublin and Westminster have jointly agreed to set up a formal soft border and therefore need a soft border patrol to administer it. Kitted out in their neutral cherry burgundy uniforms and baseball caps, their motto is: “We patrol the border, but we’re here to let you through.” Which could work, actually.You’ll enjoy the jokes about the patrol teams “sharing power”, the even-handed mockery of the DUP’s Arlene Foster (and her smoke alarm) and Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill (and her hair straighteners), and some near-the-bone gags about IRA men and a group who want to reunify Ulster. That, by the way, means uniting the existing six counties of Northern Ireland with the other three counties of historic Ulster, which now lie in the Republic of Ireland (can you name them? The “Continuity Nine County Sovereignty Committee” couldn’t). The CNCSC want to achieve their goal by using “violently peaceful” means, and have the ambition of joining up in some political federation with the West Indies.It is very fun and – in a land where a plank across a stream constitutes an illegal crossing on a hotly contested international boundary, and Calgel, syrup and fish are contraband – a very necessary mirror to some of the absurdities that Brexit has visited upon us all. Made by the Glasgow-based Comedy Unit, it has a fine ensemble cast, of which the standout must be the rural patrol, bicycling dolt Sandy (Alan Irwin), whose task is to monitor the border ‘as the crow flies’, although as Sandy reflects: “A crow wouldn’t fly that wonky.” Soft Border Patrol , then, is another of the BBC’s fine recent crop of comedy mockumentaries, such as People Just Do Nothing and, back for its second run on BBC3 and BBC1, This Country . This week Kerry Mucklowe, the magnificent comic creation of Daisy Cooper, has been receiving sexually explicit, though oddly unerotic, letters. This she finds especially worrying because it means “they probably know where I live”. Big Mandy (Ashley McGuire) offers her nunchucks skills, and background in stalking, to protect Kerry, who seems not as hard as she’d like to think she is.It’s your chance to celebrate a better yesterday with Sir Bruce: a Celebration , which, well, is a celebration of the life and works of Sir Bruce Forsyth. I don’t want to be uncharitable, especially about someone who achieved more than most of us could ever dream about creatively, but I was never that knocked down by his talents. Anyway, there’s plenty who disagree with me, and for them there is this one hour Brucie-fest, hosted by another showbiz legend, Dame Shirley Bassey.