ONE thing that Brexit has done recently is rob us of our sense of humour.

You definitely don’t hear jokes about Brexit because, well, it’s just not funny. More than that, it’s too close to a whole array of other emotions.

Some would argue that this is a shame because humour can definitely dilute emotional situations and prompt individuals to consider other elements.

It’s a vital component of life and, for many people, part of our earliest memories. I’ve mentioned before how Sunday lunch for me is always inextricably linked with comedy because we always listened to The Clitheroe Kid, The Navy Lark and then Round The Horne on the radio. I’m not sure how I got the food down for laughing.

The latter in particular has stood the test of time, although the risqué nature of scripts would offend today. It was written largely by Marty Feldman and Barry Took, later so influential in developing The Goon Show.

The best bit for me, though, was the urban Kenneth Horne announcing at the start of several episodes “the answer’s to last week’s quiz” (there hadn’t been one) - “the Titanic, David Lloyd George and two yards of knicker elastic.” The random nature of such nonsensical stuff was wonderful.

Some of the best humour is self-deprecating. I was in Blackpool recently for its annual Comedy Festival when Jason Manford hosted an evening of comedians including the wonderful Daliso Chaponda.

He came third in the Britain’s Got Talent final and is a stand-up comedian from Malawi. His act is all about self-deprecation – “I was the biggest comedian in Malawi. But I was the only comedian in Malawi.” Incidentally, he’s appearing in Bolton at Markland Hill Racquets Club on Saturday, June 22 if you want to catch his gentle but sharp wit.

Humorous lines have now dropped into our everyday lives. Baldrick’s “I’ve got a cunning plan” from Blackadder, for example. And some people can still recite the whole stanza from Monty Python as the Spanish Inquisition burst in.

“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Our chief weapon is surprise …. surprise and fear … fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear and surprise – and ruthless efficiency …. our THREE weapons are fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.

“Our FOUR … no, amongst our weapons – amongst our weaponry are such elements as fear, surprise …… I’ll come in again.”

Personally, I love clever critics. Dorothy Parker was one of the best, confessing “The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” She even suggested her own epitaph: “Excuse my dust.”

You would, however, go a long way to beat Billy Connolly’s humour. A typical quote: “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes.”

Or “I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives.”