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My idea of heaven? Watching Love Island with Sheila Hancock

Blog | By Gyles Brandreth | Jul 22, 2019

Source: Gylesbrandreth.net

Just as it is incumbent on the young starting out in a business to be aware of those who have gone before, I think we oldies have a duty, too, to stay up to speed with what the now-generation is up to.

I was the guest on a BBC TV teatime quiz show this month with a young woman called Scarlett Moffatt. No, you haven’t heard of her - nor had I. But she’s huge (with ten times the number of followers that I have on Twitter), delightful and clever.

I started out as a scholar at Oxford University; she started out as a checkout girl at Asda; but, in that teatime TV quiz, she beat me fair and square.

She came to fame as a regular on Channel 4’s Gogglebox (the show that shows folk watching TV and also stars the Oldie’s very own Giles Wood and Mary Killen) and then won ITV’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.

I have just completed six weeks as a regular on Celebrity Gogglebox and it has been an education. I have seen programmes I would never have dared to watch at home (such as Naked Attraction where, believe it or not, young people who have never met before show one another their most intimate private parts and comment on them) and been introduced to personalities previously unknown to me but to whom I find I’m curiously drawn (such as Rylan Clark-Neal, ex of the X Factor and winner of Celebrity Big Brother).

Some of the programmes I watched were rubbish. My Gay Dog and other Animals was the worst, closely followed by another pseudo-scientific documentary that featured walruses mating – in high definition. But I loved the experience overall, not only because it took me out of my viewing comfort zone, but more so because it meant I spent cosy evenings in front of the box (and a hidden camera) in the company of my friend, the actress Sheila Hancock. Watching TV with a friend is much more fun than watching it alone. Not wishing to encroach on our revered Agony Aunt’s territory, but if you suffer from occasional bouts of loneliness, can I suggest you invite a friend over for a telly evening?

The two of you, a bottle of wine, a bowl of snacks and the full horror of Love Island . . . Go for it! Why not?