Don Your Way column: I’m back from illness – sorry it wasn’t fatal

Call off the search parties, stand down from a national emergency, stop worrying – I’m back.

Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 9:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 9:37 am
Darren Burke

Apologies for my disappearance from this newspaper and its associated website last week – unfortunately, I was laid low by a particularly nasty stomach bug which prevented me from serving up my usual dose of Don Your Way.

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Darren Burke

While some of you may be upset that it wasn’t fatal and that I’ve lived to tell the tale, it was heartwarming that several readers did check my whereabouts. One taking to email to enquire of my well being (don’t worry Dave, I’m fully restored now).

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I’m sure many others will be thinking, ‘well, he makes us sick, so it makes a change that the boot’s on the other foot’.

Being laid up with illness is never fun – and so it was for a large chunk of last week, a rather unpleasant bout of food poisoning wiping me out for pretty much the whole week (perhaps I should start employing food tasters?)

Anyhow, I did what we all tend to do when under the weather and that’s to decamp to the sofa, turn on the telly and feel sorry for ourselves.

Mind, it was only when I switched on the box in the corner of the room that I truly began to feel sorry for myself.

I genuinely feel sorry for those whose days are a diet of daytime TV. Shows about houses. Shows about antiques. Shows about antiques in houses. Shows about selling antiques found in houses. Invariably presented by some ‘colourful’ eccentric type in colours that even Elton John would turn up his nose at.

Now, I’m sure that some of these programmes are loved and enjoyed – and there must obviously be a market, otherwise they wouldn’t show them.

But hey, a bit of a variety wouldn’t go amiss in among the low budget quiz shows and the shouty opinionated types who also seem to crop up across the course of a normal slew of daytime television.

That said, it is still a better offering than what us children of the 1970s and 1980s had to contend with. If you were ever off school, lying in front of the telly with your comics, chicken soup and Lucozade (the only thing that mums would dish out as medicine back then) you could look forward to tuning into Programmes for Schools and Colleges, which did exactly what they said on the tin.

Skiving? No chance, we’re still going to make sure you get your education, so here’s a beardy man in a corduroy jacket to show you some extremely complicated maths.

Thankfully, I’m now back to full fitness – but I can guarantee that next time I’m laid low by whatever, I’ll be watching Maureen from Bromsgrove attempting to flog a family heirloom.