Imagine my surprise when I found something in the BBC's TV drama output that I actually wanted to watch. More than that, it had me glued to my seat. There's not much call for single plays these days, the Beeb tells us. So old-fashioned, and who remembers the 1960s and David Mercer anyway? So when a series of single dramas comes along with fantastic acting talent and great scripts, modest budgets and no fancy gimmicks, it naturally gets buried on BBC4. I'm referring to the series of one-off dramas about the troubled comic geniuses who were the big names in popular TV entertainment a generation or two ago. The Curse of Comedy's first episode had Jason Isaacs and Phil Davis recreating the partnership between Harry H Corbett and Wilfred Brambell that produced Steptoe and Son. Olivier award winner Roger Allam was in the background as a BBC producer -- that's how good the casting was. It was written by Brian Fillis, who wrote Fear of Fanny a year or two ago about the TV cook Fanny Cradock. The second episode about Tony Hancock and his affair with Joan Le Mesurier was even better, with Ken Stott and the wonderful Maxine Peake. Another Olivier winner, Alex Jennings, played John Le Mesurier and the script was by Richard Cottan. Painful, painful drama in both cases, exquisitely acted and beautifully in period. Obviously these single plays are far too good to be put in front of the masses on BBC1 or BBC2. I'm looking forward now to the episodes about Hughie Green (don't think I ever watched him) and Frankie Howerd.