The panicked listeners of Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play of War of the Worlds are regarded with derision these days. Only a fool could be convinced by a fictional news broadcast of a Martian invasion. Right?

Some 85 years on and many of us are still vulnerable to falling for mock-media, as proven by the social media reaction this week to Gregg Wallace: The British Miracle Meat (Channel 4, 24 July, 8.30pm). “Quite frankly it’s the sickest thing I’ve ever seen” tweeted one viewer. Another added: “Can I just say how disturbing Gregg Wallace’s #miraclemeat is… surely it can’t be real?”

It wasn’t, of course. The mockumentary saw Wallace visit the secret Lincolnshire factory of Good Harvest, home to “a controversial new lab-grown meat” that “could provide a solution to the cost of living crisis”: human meat. As the programme went on, the hoax became more apparent as Good Harvest’s outrageous practices were revealed.

The genius lay in how precisely the programme nailed every element of the format – all too familiar to readers of this column – it was parodying. The jolly reactions of the presenters (“Proper space age. Meat me up Scotty,” Wallace gasped), the pointless taste-test vox pops, the corporate speak of the Good Harvest CEO (did the flesh cutting hurt? “It’s pain subjective,” she replied). There was even a straight-faced description placed in TV guides and a ‘factual’ streaming service category listing.

Revealed as a modern take on Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, the programme also managed to lance the evils of big food, the Tory government, Brexit and meat production along the way.

As Wallace might say: Satire doesn’t get better than this.