I'm on the daytime TV death watch

There's nothing like dying of 'flu while being told about how to sort out my finances


This week I have been confined to quarters with a nasty bout of ’flu.

It has given me a valuable insight into what my life could be like in 40 years’ time — shivering under my tartan blanket with only my slippers for company, completely isolated in the frozen wastes of north London, save for the occasional team of huskies and a few cross-country skiers.

Almost as depressing as the shtetl-esque winter was the prospect of daytime TV. I haven’t really watched consistently since the summer of 1986, when, as a young graduate, I did in-depth research into the subject before paid employment eventually intervened.

Well let me tell you, things have changed since then. For example, Neighbours is no longer on BBC1. It has moved over to Five and, what’s more, neither Kylie nor Jason is in it any more — bit of a stunner, that.

This is not the only change I have detected. Phillip Schofield has gone grey, and Kilroy, who was always grey, has completely disappeared.

In the 1980s, the purpose of daytime TV was to provide mind-numbing entertainment for the millions left unemployed by Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies.

Now it seems to have a different purpose — to sort out your financial problems. Within minutes of turning on I had been urged to consider consolidating all of my debts into one manageable lump sum — with the tantalising possibility that the interest payments could be frozen.

Even before I had fully digested this information, I was being told that, with gold prices at an all-time high, now was the optimum time to sell my jewellery.

It sounded like the perfect solution. All I needed to do was place all my “junk gold” in a pre-paid envelope and then wait for a stonking cheque in the post. However, it turned out that while gold prices are at an all-time high, my junk gold reserves are non existent.

Depressing as that was, it got worse. “No-one wants to think about funeral expenses…” said a cheerful looking man with a nice garden. Actually, as my fever got worse I was beginning to contemplate the hereafter. But the good news was that for a small monthly sum, everything would be taken care of, should my sniffles get the better of me.

But how to afford the payments? Well, I began to think that the best method would be to have an accident at work. Should I accidently fall off my chair or trip on a dangerously exposed wire, I could win substantial damages from the JC. And here’s the best bit — the claim would be on a no-win-no-fee basis.

This is something to consider when I am well enough to go back to the office but, in the meantime, I can be looking for Cash in the Attic or perhaps looking to invest in Homes Under the Hammer.

The fact is that with my health the way it is, I am going to need some extra funds to afford one of those special beds with a remote control which can lift you effortessly into a sitting position.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find the energy to consolidate my dirty dishes into one manageable pile before Deal or No Deal starts.

    Last updated: 3:57pm, March 25 2010

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