WHY have comedians suddenly started popping up in super serious programmes ?

I settled down to watch Fearless, starring Helen McCrory, on Monday night and was surprised to see John Bishop appear as her boyfriend.

As far as I know he has had no previous acting experience - and there were no jokes in this.

His role didn’t even appear to be offering comic relief and he actually didn’t do much.

Maybe he will play a larger part as the six week tale unfolds but so far it was little more than a cameo.

It made me wonder how it came about.

Did they think he would be perfect for it or did he have to audition ?

For all those jobbing actors out there, it must be a bit galling to see someone with no training suddenly acting alongside the likes of Michael Gambon and Helen whose films roles include Harry Potter.

That’s not to say he wasn’t any good. He was actually alright and I understand the attraction of employing familiar faces.

And it doesn’t always work out by any means.

For every Guy Garvey, Elbow frontman who held his own alongside Peter Kay in the recent second series of Car Share, there is a Sarah Harding.

The former Girls Aloud singer was brought in to Coronation Street with the hope of really establishing herself but was universally vilified by its millions of fans for pretty terrible acting and only lasted a couple of episodes.

There are handfuls of former singers, who probably went to stage school way back to be honest, settling into soap operas and comedians often head for straight drama.

Bradley Walsh was a revelation in Law and Order UK for example.

But John Bishop wasn’t even the main attraction in this and he is much better known as a stand-up comedian.

It would only have been marginally weirder if Joe Pasquale had been cast.

And I couldn’t really make out what the story at the heart of Fearless was about to be honest.

Something about a lawyer who helps hopeless cases but might have bitten a bit more off than she can chew in her latest case.

She is also trying to adopt a child with John Bishop.

It wasn’t really working out at the meeting with the social workers though.

Maybe he should have told her a joke after all.