My early life on film went up in smoke – Zella Compton

I was very surprised last week when in an idle moment I watched a video clip on Facebook. It was shared by a far-flung almost-friend who’ve I’ve never actually met, with a comment along the lines of, ‘can children these days sit through this?’.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 4:00 pm
The multi-coloured Swap Shop gang - Noel Edmonds, John Craven, Keith Chegwin and Maggie Philbin

I needed a quick afternoon nap, You know that moment, the 10 secret minutes you need before you start to make supper. It’s clear you want it, but sometimes it needs the perfect sedative to send you on your way.

‘Budda bing’ I thought, ‘this’ll be awesome.

‘If there’s any chance that children can’t sit through it, I’ll be snoring in seconds as I have trained myself to have the attention span of a sparrow.’

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Snoozing was then the plan.

But it turns out the clip released by the BBC to commemorate the same day in 1982, featuring Noel Edmonds and Tony Hart in a slow-paced segment on Swap Shop as children rang in and requested drawings, made me sit up in surprise.

The first caller to the show was my now best friend.

I didn’t realise it straight away – I recognised the name of course as being the same as my friend’s, but not his voice as,aged 12, it turns out he was masquerading as Little Lord Fauntleroy. 

He requested Tony draw him a collie.

In this day and age when we spend all our time warning our children about their lives being online forever, their pasts coming back to haunt them, it appears it can happen to some of us too.

And I rather like the idea.

I know that parts of my childhood were on film once, on cine reel, but that went up in flames as it played through a too hot projector.

And that’s a terrible shame as there was something spectacularly satisfying to watch it backwards and see myself leaping on to walls.

The old VHS tapes of goodness knows what also tore at some point never to be watched again. 

It’s a nuisance that I never did anything with the BBC, as actually it’d be rather cool to have those memories come to life, even if the children of today don’t have the patience to watch it, or the adults use it for sleep inducement.

Bah shucks to short-sighted cycle contest organisers

How crummy for the women cyclists riding in Belgium last weekend. 

In a race departing 10 minutes after the men’s on the same route, the leader of the females caught up with the race in front. And had to be stopped.

Seriously. Bah shucks to the planners of that event.

The women had to wait for seven or eight minutes to let the men get far enough ahead again.

That must be so demotivating. You’ve caught up with those you’re not even racing and are stopped.

I’m sure there must be safety reasons and the like, but either make the races far enough apart to combat the problem or, even better, let them race together. 

Since when did the Co-op become the alcohol police?

There is something strange going on with the Co-op’s alcohol policy. Apparently more than one branch is being draconian about it.

My husband was stopped with my son and asked for proof of my son’s age before they’d sell my husband a few beers. Then someone else I know was denied alcohol as she had her 15-year-old daughter in tow. The adult was trying to buy a bottle of wine.

When was the law changed so that everyone in the shopping party has to be 18?

As far as I know it’s okay to give your children alcohol at home when with the family, so why has the Co-op decided it needs to take on a societal policing role? It’s rude and will lose them business.