Kind 'Guardian' readers have been forwarding me round robin Christmas newsletters for years now: lengthy missives full of perfect children, exotic holidays, talented pets and endless, tedious detail. The notes that accompanied them revealed they had inspired in the original recipients everything from mild irritation to absolute rage.
I cannot be alone in being pretty nauseated by Red Nose Day, or at least its television manifestation. Do I think that wretchedly poor children in Africa should get food and life-saving drugs? Of course. Do I want to be hectored into contributing by celebrities who earn more in a 10-minute slot than many of these families get in a year? Nope.