Spiral Notebook: The great TV mash-up
By Giles Broadbent
Harry Hill used to tell a joke the amusing nature of which I will utterly fail to convey.
However, this shaggy dog story - that possessed a nugget of profound truth at its heart - involved two scoops of mash.
As a child little Hal was restricted by his mother to two scoops of mash, something which riled a big-collared kid with grand ambitions.
However, via means unremembered, this maternal embargo was briefly lifted and he was able to embrace any number of scoops.
After experimenting wildly with all mash combinations he finally alighted upon his favourite - turns out two scoops is tip-top and mother knows best.
I always mutter to myself "two scoops of mash" whenever life, exasperated by the norm, heads off in a strange, unexplored direction only to return, a little sadder and wiser, to the original.
Related to this only by Harry Hill's presence on the box, is the news that "watercooler TV" is not dead, it has just moved and settled into a new home.
Watercooler TV was the successor - or an adjunct to - normal TV when there were just four channels and everyone was watching Morecambe And Wise and Den and Angie.
Its successor was "appointment to view" TV which was a marketing ploy to corral a skittish herd of wandering viewers.
Then the whole notion of community TV in any form was written off in its entirety when the internet, PlayStation, BBC3 and family breakdown dictated that the audience was eternally fragmented, never to share a sofa again.
But community is a concept that evolution will not abandon. Deprived of a sense of togetherness, we are now all Twittering our thoughts, real-time, during programmes.
According to Yahoo, 86 per cent of people who use the mobile internet use their mobile device while watching television.
Indeed "Must-Tweet TV" would be the latest innovation if it wasn't already the case that there ain't nothing new under the sun, son.