Ban This Filth (C4); The Paul O'Grady Show (ITV1): NEVER mind hunting, there are other country pursuits that the Prime Minister should be banning, according to Barbara, the elderly woman who presents Ban This Filth.

She was referring to Pony Play, which involves a dirty old man riding around on the back of a half-naked woman. She's a fan of Black Beauty, she admitted, but riding pony girls was disgusting. The place where it takes place, East Anglia, was officially named as the filthiest in the country.

Of course, Barbara and her pensioner pals Jill and Brenda had to show us clips from Pony Play in order to condemn it. How thoughtful.

The same applied to warnings about forthcoming filthy fodder on TV - not only were we shown generous excerpts in dirty detail but given full details of where and when they were being shown, so we could avoid watching them.

Jill was sent abroad to report on a show, Germany Swings, that investigates swinging couples at the Beverly Club which was, she assured us, "nothing to do with the Beverly Sisters".

As she watched the flesh-baring couples swinging, she inquired of an organiser: "Is it like Egon Ronay, do you award stars?".

The trio of filth-finders also launched their Dogging Campaign, designed to stamp out the activities of those who watch strangers having sex in vehicles in car parks.

Lily Savage has a foul mouth on her but she's been locked away while her alter ego, Paul O'Grady, tries to pep up ITV1's teatime ratings with a daily chat show. The first edition beat C4 rivals Richard and Judy in the ratings, so the omens are good.

O'Grady could talk for Britain so you sometimes wonder if his guests will ever get a word in. The good thing is that he clearly enjoys what he's doing and, more importantly, isn't trying to do too much. Just two guests and a couple of novelty performers each programme.

Unlike Richard and Judy, he doesn't try to tackle serious topics or promote books. He just wants a good gossip. He's not averse taking the mickey out of his guests. "You've got an evil gob," he told Simon Cowell, but in a nice way.

The set - a desk and sofa affair - is pretty disgusting. "I've woke up in skips and seen better furniture," said O'Grady. He complained about being given a cup and saucer instead of a mug. "I wish they'd get rid of this mug, it makes me look gay," he said.

And again when rendered speechless after the autocue was slow in rolling, he moaned: "You have to be psychic on this show."

But you don't have to be psychic to know that he's going to give Richard and Judy a good run for their money.

Published: 14/10/2004