Squatters’ Rights

OK, so most people would agree that Richard Madeley is a big daft donkey (even, I suspect, the sainted Judy), but he is also 24-carat, fully hallmarked, small-screen gold. His latest solo foray into TV land, Madeley Meets The Squatters, saw him making the usual inane Partridge-esque comments – ‘I have to confess as someone lucky enough to own more than one home, I know almost nothing about squatters.’ – while trying to penetrate the dark heart of the squatting mindset.

The ensuing action found Madeley ruminating – usually from the comfort of his car – on the nature of squatting, observing a squatting co-operative at work and indulging in a bit of late-night skip foraging with the self-proclaimed ‘wombles’, all the time looking vaguely uncomfortable in his second-best jeans and casually draped jacket. I kinda wished the programme makers had thought to overdub it with a commentary from Judy poking fun at Madeley’s frequent faux pas and berating him for his general goofiness.

I enjoyed almost every minute, but am sorry to report that my viewing experience was spoiled by the intrusion of a reminder that not everyone shares my devotion to the accuracy of public signage. After many years spent enduring the audible tutting occasioned by misspelled menus and grocers’ apostrophes, OH remains steadfastly unmoved by my apparent overreaction to grammatical aberrations. Without turning a hair, he gallantly offered to rewind the programme and take a photo of the offending road sign, glimpsed as Madeley toggled between London and Bristol:

Barbican - squatters

If Richard Madeley wants to make an exhibition of himself on national television, that’s fine by me, in fact I positively encourage him to do so. If the Highways Department want to direct traffic to an exhibition centre, is it too much to ask that they include all the right letters in precisely the right order?


Diane Nowell
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