IF the number of comments in the office are a way of measuring the impact of a programme on the viewing public then it would seem that you can forget X Factor or I’m A Celebrity.

No, the programme of the moment has to be the new Tuesday night series from the Beeb, Last Tango in Halifax.

It is one of those offerings which really shouldn’t work. The story of two ‘golden oldies’ rediscovering their lost love much to their relatives’ horror is so syrupy, so predictable and just so cheesy it could almost be shown on the food channel.

In fact, it’s amazing it’s not being shown on the Sunday night cosy slot previously occupied by Last of the Summer Wine. But what saves it, and saves it spectacularly are the two lead characters played by Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi.

They show that no matter how flimsy a script, how obvious a plotline, when true talent is brought to bear, it is that which shines through.

Jacobi has long been one of our greatest actors and he certainly doesn’t disappoint with his wonderfully gentle portrayal of a man finding happiness. The whole show appears to be a retirement plan for former Coronation Street stars with Anne Reid and Sarah Lancashire promnent in the cast.

Last Tango in Halifax proves that drama doesn’t have to be edgy or cutting edge to work — but it does need quality actors pull it off.