Games people play

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The Independent Online
Ned Sherrin, 66, Loose Ends presenter, theatre director and writer.

I suppose it was mainly my brother and I batting, or kicking a football about in the garden. We had Snakes and Ladders, and Draughts, but I didn't really enjoy games. Instead I used to read a lot, and there was always the radio.

During the war, whist drives were held in the village where I lived as a child. That was the peak of entertainment, and whoever won used to get some sort of modest reward - God knows what; it was 50 years ago, you can hardly expect me to remember the prizes.

A housemaster at school tried to teach me to play bridge. he was a very nice man, but I could never get into it. I don't have an instinct for that kind of thing. I'm quite competitive, but it's not enough to drive me to a table in order to beat somebody I've never met.

I suppose I play a sort of columnist-watching game. These days, there's no longer any news for newspapers: it's all on radio or television the night before, so a rash of opinion columnists has sprung up. It's always interesting to see how madly, and in what direction, Linda Lee Potter, A N Wilson and the others will jump. The only one who does it with any real joy and impudence is Peter Mackay.

In essence, a good game should have a huge reward and be over as quickly as possible. I once played Scrabble with Joan Collins, but I got hopelessly beaten, so I didn't see the point in carrying on. Games don't hold any fascination for me. If I have a spare moment, I'd rather read a book or water the window boxes. I've got a set of Trivial Pursuit, but only because I'm one of the answers.

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