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TV choices take me out of the loop

I'M going to stay clear of the metaphorical water cooler for a while.

(This office has a physical one, but few stop to chat around it.)

Yesterday, for the first time in yonks, I wasn't able to take part in the early-morning small talk. Usually, I can bluff. Nod sagely, and interject with a telling "Couldn't agree more" or "That's so true" at what seems like appropriate points. But not this time. You see, gulp, I didn't watch Doctor Who at the weekend.

Not only that, I haven't watched it since it was re-imagined, if that's the correct term, nearly a decade ago. In fact, my last Doctor was Tom Baker. My last Doctor Who assistant was Leela, played by Louise Jameson.

A quick internet search reveals that I must have stopped watching in 1978. That makes sense. After the horrors of Peru and Iran in that benighted year's World Cup, I would have laughed in the face of Cybermen and Daleks. I'll see your Silurian and raise you Willie Johnston.

So, unlike 7.3 million others, I can't comment on whether or not Peter Capaldi gave it laldy. Of dinosaurs stalking London I have nothing to stay, unless you're talking about Boris Johnson. But if you want a chat about Saturday's night ITV3 repeat of Lewis, I'm your man.

This is not the first time I've been severely handicapped in the conversation stakes. It'll probably be the same next Monday morning, because I've never watched a full episode of X Factor either. I did stray across it while channel-hopping once, and lingered for a few minutes when I realised it was a talent show. The level of applause and cheering caught me unawares; I was left to ponder on the fact that the old Opportunity Knocks clapometer would have blown a fuse (if indeed there were ever any electrics involved; I think the thing may have been hand-cranked).

I always know when it's back on our screens, though: friends and colleagues start talking about the antics of Sam and Abi and Joe and Gareth.

I begin to wonder why I've never been introduced; after all, these people are only ever referred to by their forenames, so surely they must move in my circle of acquaintances?

It's back next Saturday, I gather from the daily bombardment of teasers and trailers. So what are we antediluvians supposed to chat about now?

Hang on, a flick forward to the weekend's listings shows there's a repeat of Dad's Army over on BBC2 at the same time. Don't panic, don't panic.

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