COMPARISONS can be a real problem. We all do it, reviewers particularly.

There’s something in our make-up that makes us compelled to relate one thing to another from the past.

Take Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle on BBC2 last night.

Every preview, every interview has banged on about it being the “new Dave Allen show”. Even Mr Lee has brought up the subject.

And let’s face it, it would never live up to that billing. Dave Allen was a comic genius, an exceptional talent.

But that doesn’t make the new series a failure. Far from it – it’s one of the most welcome new comedy shows for quite some time.

As he proved as half of Lee and Herring, Stewart Lee is a fine, eloquent observer of the banality of modern life.

True, some of the sketches thrown in to break up monologues are a bit hit and miss, but you can forgive the odd duff attempt when there is genuine quality around.

It’s just a shame the hype has been so overblown. It was never going to fulfill such great expectations.