Why I love... Opening Time

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The Independent Online

When the pubs open the most amazing and beautiful thing happens. We have many rights as free-born British citizens, the right to vote, the right to freedom of expression and association, to taxation without representation, the right to complain about the weather, the right to walk across a zebra crossing without being run over in the manner of a French pedestrian, but our greatest right of all is without a shadow of a doubt the right to a pint before lunchtime.

And when the pub doors open at 11 o'clock some of the freest men in the world come into the pub and express their freedom in the finest way possible, by ordering a pint and maybe some nuts. The very thought is making me dewy eyed right now. And when they sup the top of their pints and make the drinker's gasp of "Ah!", I know that I live in a land of the truly free.

'Al Murray's Happy Hour' returns to ITV1 from 10pm on Friday 11 January

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