No Offence is a comedy drama – but it is more a gritty show with some funny bits

There were some interesting viewing options in the 9pm hour tonight.

You could watch Ben Chaplin’s smarmy newspaper editor Duncan Allen being his cocky self in BBC1’s fantasy drama Press.

Meanwhile on ITV, there was Piers Morgan interviewing another American serial killer.

Unable to choose, I went for the Channel 4 option: the third series opener of police comedy drama No Offence. I say comedy drama, but it’s actually a gritty drama that happens to have loads of funny bits in it.

The problem is that you could run the risk of overshadowing the heart-stopping stuff with a jokey interlude involving the knicker situation of Joanna Scanlon’s brilliant Detective Inspector Viv Deering.

Such incongruities never did Paul Abbott’s previous Channel 4 hit Shameless any harm, though.

He’s repeated the trick with this drama, which feels like it inhabits the same world as Shameless. In fact, you feel Frank Gallagher could easily turn up in the Friday St custody suite one of these days.

Imagine if he did, swiftly followed by Line of Duty’s Ted Hastings popping up in Bodyguard. What a week that would be for TV drama!

To be fair, this week hasn’t been too shabby, and No Offence can take some of the credit for that. This breathless opener began in high spirits as the team policed a political rally but the mood darkened when one of their own was shot.

As the ambulance sirens were turned off en route to the hospital, Deering’s face said it all, but her mouth spoke just one word. “Dead.”

And that’s how you keep it gritty.

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