“I’d never work again,” repeats Short Tony, leaning heavily on the bar. “I would never work again.”

Short Tony works in a sphere in which it is important to come across as sensible and sober. It’s difficult for me to judge, as I’m a bit close to it, but I am not sure if that comes across or not in this piece of writing. I reassure him that I have no intention of progressing the offer.

“‘From reading your blog, you and your cast of friends and neighbours sound perfect’. That’s what the email said,” I explain.

“I’d never work again,” he mutters. We wave at the Well-Spoken Barman, who refills pints of Nethergate.

“The idea is,” I continue, “that they would set up a camera somewhere, and just film us going about our daily lives. Then if the pilot was any good it would be shown on Channel 4.”

“I would never, ever work again.”

“I have to say the LTLP is not enthusiastic.”

Television, like the Sirens from old mythology and early Genesis songs, lures people to their doom. I have never been on television before if you do not count an inadvertent and unwanted appearance on Play School, but I know enough about it to know that it can make perfectly normal people look like a bit of an idiot. Plus apparently it puts pounds on you (makes you appear fat) and exaggerates the size of your head.

I rereassure Short Tony that nothing is going to come of it. I could not possibly swap my simple life of playing bowls and the occasional pint for modern trendy clubs and coke-fuelled bunk ups with Trinny and Susannah and the 3am Girls. We turn back to our handled glasses, and the topic is closed.

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