Robert Epstein: Rant & Rave (20/05/12)

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The Independent Online


So, 10 million of us in Britain – one in six of the population – now tweet. And 80 per cent of those of us who do so, do it by mobile phone. They're extraordinary figures, made no less so by the thought that very few of us had even heard of the microblogging site a couple of years ago.

So, just comfort yourself with those facts the next time you wake up in bed, look over to gaze upon your beloved, and discover they're already fiddling with their feeds to catch up on all that "vital" news tweeted since they dozed off. Such as "Richard Gere in Pretty Woman is making me have heart palpitations" – that was Katy Perry.

Let's not judge too harshly those who find such titbits fascinating; celeb gossip has long allured even the most cultured folk. But how many of us follow the minutiae of Tom, Dick or Harry's lives only because they followed us – and it would be rude to unfollow them? And how depressing is it that "unfollow" is now an acceptable word?


Suck on that, Moyles! How'd'ya like them apples, Chris Evans? Those are the sort of things Betty and Beryl were not saying when their BBC Radio Humberside show won them the Sony Award for Best Entertainment Programme. Because Betty and Beryl are too good for that kind of chest-thumping one-upmanship oft displayed by those they beat. And because Betty Smith, aged 90, and Beryl Renwick, 86, are a combined 176 years old.

B&B, for whom modern pop is "piffle", tell stories about their lives on air. Award-winning stories. We could do with more maturity on our airwaves – especially with such hotheads as BBC Radio 6's Huey Morgan railing on Twitter over "fake" colleagues who won an award. He, er, didn't.