TV preview: Fresh Meat, Channel 4, 10pm

Fresh Meat. Pic: Channel 4
Fresh Meat. Pic: Channel 4
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JACK WHITEHALL returns to our screens in a new series of award-winning comedy Fresh Meat, scripted by Peep Show’s Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.

It might seem like the student-life comedy thing has been done to death, but clearly Channel 4 bosses don’t agree.

Having just wrapped up a second series of self-written comedy Bad Education on BBC3, Whitehall is back with the gang as they return to Manchester Medlock for another term - but this time, they’re second-year students.

They have to get their heads around the fact that JP (Whitehall) is now their landlord, and also coming into the madness is new housemate Candice (Faye Marsay), a naïve home-schooled first-year who has no idea who Simon Cowell is.

Meanwhile, Howard and JP keep themselves amused by trying to coax some female freshers to join their dry-slope skiing society.

Josie is now in Southampton and everyone is missing her, but it is not long before plans are made to go to her traffic-light party, which causes problems for Kingsley.

The first series of Fresh Meat offered Whitehall his first acting role, so it was something of a departure from the comedian’s usual unscripted style of throwing out jokes to a live audience.

He said after filming the first series, “It’s slightly weird doing other people’s work when you are so used to doing your own stuff, but if you’re going to do anyone else’s material then Sam and Jesse’s is a pretty good place to start.

“The scripts are so good and I feel so confident in them, which makes it a lot easier to be regimented to stick to the script and not go off on your own tangent.”

And one half of the dream-team writing partnership Bain reveals that just because the gang have moved into their second year of university, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve grown up any. “If anything the reverse,” he says. “One of the pitches is that we’ve got a new housemate replacing the absent Josie as we start the series. So we’ve got Candice, who’s a first-year fresher, and they - and particularly Oregon - treat her like she’s about ten years younger than them, and they know it all, and have seen things she couldn’t possibly imagine. They treat her with that kind of attitude. In their minds, they’ve moved on, but in reality they haven’t.”

Whitehall stars alongside Greg McHugh, Zawe Ashton, Kimberley Nixon and Joe Thomas.