MEDIA: ZEITGEIST - Channel 4's Black Books is a fine exemplar of how not to sell anything to anyone

Some people just don't get Black Books. There's no nice way of putting this - they've just very sad individuals indeed. Now, though, they've been given yet another chance to redeem themselves. Channel 4's best sitcom ever, a winner of a Bafta in 2001, is back for a third series.

Written by Dylan Moran who also plays the lead role, Black Books features an almost-charmingly irascible book shop owner (that's the "Books" bit) owned by a man called Bernard Black (see, it all hangs together) who hates his customers in an almost Basil Fawlty-ish way. (If Fawlty were a drunken Irish intellectual, which he isn't.)

It also stars the immaculate Bill Bailey as Black's assistant, Manny, and Tamsin Greig as the neurotic owner of the gift shop next door.

The comedy is black (works on many levels, doesn't it, this one?) and surreal and if you miss it this time round you'll be sorry.

What: Black Books, series three

Where: Channel 4

When: Thursday evenings, from 11 March

How: Be there, whatever it takes

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