Having spent a large proportion of my working life in advertising, I now do all I can to avoid the commercials.
However, on a recent trip to the cinema to see 'Edge of Tomorrow' (how many times can Tom Cruise save the world?), I somehow got my timings wrong and happened to catch the latest advert for Vodafone Red 4G? It promotes Spotify's Premium music download service.
Liverspotify might be more appropriate because it features a collection of pensioners strutting their stuff and singing along to latter day musical refrains from the likes of Matt Monro, Kay Starr and Frankie Vaughan. Ouch! When that old boy who's walking through the countryside with his dog attempts one of Frankie's high kicks while warbling 'Give Me The Moonlight', it almost makes your eyes water.
Alas, this isn't quite true.
The songs are considerably more up to date than those just mentioned.
In an ironic twist, the sort that creatives are so fond of, the tunes are actually made up of such future classics as 'Milkshake'- although surely that should be 'Complan Shake'- from someone called Kelis.
Apparently, she's a big hip-hop artist quite a few decades away from needing any form of hip operation. Of course, I know exactly who she is. I'm simply trying to be more out of touch than I really am.
Other numbers include 'Bad Girls' by M.I.A, 'She Said' by Plan B and 'Love Me Again' (fat chance when you're past 70 unless it's by prior arrangement and with an accompanying doctor's note) by John Newman, who weirdly has a slight look of the Bobby Darin's about him. Not that I particularly believe in reincarnation, but it makes you think, doesn't it?
Anyway, whether you consider this slice of commerciality to be life affirming or condescending- the latter, I feel- it does raise a question.
As we get older, do our listening and viewing habits change?
One day we're tuning in on a Sunday evening to hear who's no.1 and the next, we're listening to the Paul O'Grady show-Radio 2 from 5 pm to 7pm also on the sabbath- to hear the nation's favourite dog lover read out letters from people who've recently been ill, but are now thankfully much better. In fact, so much better, they should just about hang on in there long enough to switch over to Radio 4 to catch the Archers.
Then there's Smooth, aka, well, to me, at least, as Deceased FM. It's rather like a depressing version of 'Name That Tune' on the radio. You hear the first few bars of a song and you can't help yourself shouting out the title. Invariably, it's Randy Crawford and 'Midnight Train to Georgia' or Gladys Knight and the Pips and 'Rainy Night in Georgia'. Oops! I think I might have got those mixed up. No sign of my advancing age, I can assure you.
As if the repetitiveness of the music played- those listeners with alzheimer's, whom I'm certain make up the core audience, are hardly likely to be critical- isn't bad enough, the paid messages in-between make you feel like giving up the ghost.
Rather spookily, 'Ghost' by Ella Henderson is still at the top of this week's hit parade. Oh, get me and my contemporary pop knowledge. Beware Ella, my dear, in 50 years you could be a featured artist on Smooth.
Anyway, back to the ads. 90% of them are for those who want to relinquish equity in the homes, thereby allowing them to move to secure warden controlled housing. The remaining 10% are for Saga cruises, high fibre cereals and baths you can get into and out of unaided.
It's all enough to have you turning on the TV instead.
The popularity of programmes such as 'Antiques Roadshow', 'Antiques Road Trip' (I sense a pattern forming) 'Springwatch', 'Autumwatch', 'Winterwatch' (no 'Deathwatch' yet), 'Pointless' and 'Escape to the Country' suggests that the schedulers are onto something.
Sad though it is, I Sky + 'Escape to the Country'. This used to be for a giggle at those taking part and the appalling taste of some people's homes. Now, I increasingly find myself thinking 'I could see myself living there when I retire'.
There is no doubt that our entertainment choices do alter as we advance along life's highway. That reminds me, when are ITV going to bring back 'Highway'?
Personally, I look forward to watching 'The Other Side', a network broadcast exclusively in heaven for those who have passed over, but can't give up on their telly viewing habits.
Mind you, the channels will undoubtably be full of the same old rubbish and repeats we've already seen here on earth.Suggest a correction