New junkies have to go Cold Turkey over the holidays

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The worst thing about Christmas is the cold turkey. That’s not the cold turkey you eat. It’s not too bad. It’s the cold turkey you endure. For us news junkies the withdrawal symptoms are bad.

On ordinary days we’re fed a diet of news until we’re addicted. Even on slow ‘news’ days the programmes are filled with the puff of ‘he said’ and ‘she said’. The politicians are only too happy to fill the air time. They keep us shouting at the TV or at each other’s throats quite nicely, thank-you very much. More fool us.

Then it’s all suddenly withdrawn. News bulletins are short and hidden so they’re hard to find. Instead of getting your fix at regular intervals you need to plan ahead by looking up the schedules or get lucky by switching on the TV or radio at just the right time. My third way seldom works. It’s, “Rosemary, what time is the news on?” “There’s no news – it’s holiday time,” is always her answer. It’s very irritating. Still, if you persist long enough some newsreader you haven’t seen for about 20 years usually appears eventually, reading a very short bulletin.

Thankfully it’s Epiphany today. That means it’s the day the three wise men came to visit Jesus and also it’s the last day anyone can claim to be part of the dreaded holidays. The word ‘Epiphany’, in ancient Greek means sudden revelation and we’ll have our addiction sated again by revelations on the news, sudden or otherwise.