WEIRD HEALTH

Published: 01/12/2005 Volume 115 No. 5984 Page

A few weeks ago we brought your attention to disquiet over a Ricky Gervais advert for prostate cancer. Now It is BBC hit comedy sketch show Little Britain that has been upsetting some health campaigners.

The latest series shows an old lady wetting herself in a supermarket aisle, which has not amused bladder and bowel problem charity Incontact.

'Continence problems are very common and debilitating, ' said a recent statement from the charity. It continued: 'They lead to social and emotional isolation for both men and women of all ages. People with incontinence are often ridiculed, but it is not a joke, and the condition can be lifedestroying for many older people. The Little Britain sketch depicting an older lady wetting herself openly in a supermarket was in poor taste, and for many of our 15,000 members particularly offensive.' What do readers think? Did the sketch go too far or are such things acceptable if done in the name of comedy?

Amidst a rather rambling piece by Channel 4 News chief reporter Alex Thomson (these broadcasting types are not always great shakes at writing) in journalists' trade paper Press Gazette comes a tale of a brush with our favourite health secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Mr Thomson was present at the recent 1,000-strong public consultation in Birmingham on the future of primary care.

After interviewing 'Pat', Mr Thomson heard her complain that his questions had been too technical, with too much 'policy nerdy stuff'.

'She was more baffled than anything else, which left me rather baffled too, ' said Mr Thomson. 'Are we in the meeja not constantly told to debate policy?' Oh dear. Journos and politicians. Never the twain...