Certain days require anything but the hard graft of a gritty drama, so it was a pleasure to find Stephen Fry swearing elegantly this evening. He was on QI – a deliberately barely structured conversation of a programme, which hopes to muster eloquence and wit from an alchemy of televisions wags and cards. It often succeeds, too.

The producer, John Lloyd, all but created British television comedy in the eighties, with Not the Nine O’clock News, Blackadder and – I think this is right – some of Spitting Image to his credit, before disappearing for a decade, with only a couple of Barclaycard adverts to interrupt his hibernation. This new programme was devised as a vehicle for the obscurities and curios of knowledge he hoarded his wilderness years, serving to both guide and rescue the deliberations of the players. No one has a chance to revert to their repertoire – this esoterica simply doesn’t fit.

Fry hosts, and, for all his polyfarious abilities, this is what he was always supposed to do. His charm, even in terrible rudeness, deprives the proceedings of any sense of competition, and rightly, since the game is the victory here. Alan Davies is another regular, and this is a surprisingly good fit for him. He’s belligerent and he’s a foil. And he wins a lot.

It’s light, but not mundane. I never plan to watch it, but am always pleased to find it on. In its own way, it can educate, inform and entertain, even though it’s no more an education than Schott’s Miscellany. A brief, transient confectionary, then, but still a treat.