With American sitcoms becoming more formulaic, asinine and safe, thank all that is holy for the renaissance in British comedy. Having long embraced a darker, more irreverent bent than that followed on the other side of the Atlantic, the Brits' tradition of bleak humour in realistic settings has reached its zenith in the past few years, with the likes of Marion and Geoff, I'm Alan Partridge and The Office delivering the perfect combination of pathos and laughter. Given that this subtle brand of comedy requires more emotional engagement than the canned laughs that emanate from the United States, British sitcoms perhaps don't travel nearly as well as their American cousins. Respect, then, to Star World for devoting a Sunday night slot to Blighty's finest. First up, filling the slot left by near-the-knuckle sitcom Nighty Night (which will return later in the year with a second series), comes The Robinsons (Star World, today at 10pm). This low-key comedy stars Martin Freeman (The Office) as Ed Robinson, the youngest and least successful member of the Robinson clan. Recently divorced after a marriage that lasted only five-and-a-half months and employed in the duller-than-dull world of re-insurance, Ed is trying desperately to find out who he is and what he wants. He is helped and hindered to varying degrees by his world-weary parents (Richard Johnson and Anna Massey) and his highly strung siblings. Abigail Cruttenden (Doctors and Nurses) plays his ultra-particular sister, who decides to dump her boyfriend at his dad's funeral because of his relentless sniffing, while Hugh Bonneville (Tipping the Velvet) is George, his control-freak brother who attempts to run his son's birthday party like a military operation. While neither as dark nor funny as the shows previously mentioned, The Robinsons has enough charm and endearing characters to keep you watching. And, while belly laughs are few and far between, each episode ends on a refreshingly upbeat note. Stay tuned to Star World for Human Remains (today at 10.30pm). Although this wonderfully offbeat comedy series from Julia Davis (Nighty Night) and Rob Brydon (Marion and Geoff) is a few years old, this is its first showing on the channel. Each episode is a standalone mockumentary following a different British couple (always played to perfection by Davis and Brydon) and featuring the kind of excruciatingly embarrassing predicaments that will have you wincing and laughing in tandem. The first episode, An English Squeak, chronicles the relationship of blue-blooded husband and wife Flick and Peter Moorcross. Flick, we discover, married Peter (a 'former semi-finalist in the Man of the Year competition') soon after the death of her strapping fiance and 'soulmate', whom she buried in the garden. Things, it seems, have gone downhill from there. Classic stuff! Considering both these shows (and a large proportion of the cutting-edge comedy that comes out of Britain) are made by the BBC, why can't BBC Prime find anything better to broadcast than repeats of Top of the Pops, Bargain Hunt and The Weakest Link? Over on ATV World, Jane Goodall's Return to Gombe (Tuesday at 9pm) provides a fascinating insight into not only chimpanzee society, but also the unique and brilliant Goodall (below) herself. Having risen to prominence for her groundbreaking observations of chimps in the 1960s - when she discovered, for example, that the animals could make and use primitive tools - Goodall turned from scientist to activist after witnessing the consequences of logging and hunting. Despite her advancing years, the 70-year-old spends more than 300 days a year travelling to promote conservation issues, but always makes time for an annual visit to Gombe, where the chimps she has studied for years still reside in the wild. Goodall picks an eventful time to visit, discovering the animals are in the midst of a revolution. Frodo, the alpha male, who has ruled the group with an iron fist for five years, has fallen ill and the young pretenders to his throne are ready to challenge him - with brutal force. Goodall also stops at the refuge she set up for baby chimps whose mothers have been killed by hunters, and plays surrogate parent to the cheeky - but incredibly cute - little apes. The programme follows Goodall as she gives a lecture, promotes her books and teaches African children about conservation, coming across as a hugely committed, passionate and inspiring woman with the energy of someone half her age. Indeed, to the question of retirement, her response is typically selfless. 'I can't retire yet,' she says with total earnestness. 'You can only retire when the world has been saved.'