The Wright Stuff plays an important role on TV. Unlike Question Time, which is designed to debate mainly political issues with the Wright Stuff, pretty much anything goes. I’m watching it at the moment and today the topics being discussed are Can You Choose You Gender? Brooklyn Beckham – Hot, Legal? He’s Still A Child! Halloween Horror – Bad Taste Biscuit about biscuits being sold in hospital with “I’m a Goner” written on them and as it’s Friday, the TV review with Kevin O’Sullivan.
The topics are first debated with the guest of the day and the panellists. Then after 5 minutes or so the Great British public are the called upon to deliver their verdicts. There have been episodes, especially with American guests, where the guests go on, thinking it’s a normal chat show and look horrified when Matthew is demanding to know their stance on Putin’s bombing of Syria.
The highlight of the show, in my opinion anyway, is the paper review. This happens every episode at about 10 o’clock. Sometimes the guests are so bedazzled by this, they just read the headlines and it’s left to Matthew and the panellists to fill in the gaps. Other times the guests get a bit too involved and poor Matthew has to pick up the pieces where they might have caused offence or possibly libelled someone.
As it’s Friday. we also have the TV review with Kevin O’Sullivan. Kevin must be an old journalist friend of Matthew’s from his Daily Mirror days. He has the look of a tabloid hack and reminds me of a cut price Simon Cowell. He always wears the same clothing as Cowell, a white shirt that has the two top buttons undone. The only difference between him and Cowell is his hair, which is in a 90’s curtain style, unlike Cowell’s well sculpted do. However despite his appearance, he does know his telly. He’s pretty much spot on about what is good and what isn’t. He is quite refreshing as he says pretty much what he thinks and Matthew on the whole, actually listens to him, which sadly can’t be said for some of the callers into the show.
Matthew’s treatment of the callers into his show can be a little irratic to put it mildly. Sometimes he is very sympathetic, even if they hold a view different to his own. At other times he can have a complete go at them, even if their only mistake wasn’t answering to their name straightaway when Matthew asks for their opinion. Part of the reason for this irratic attitude could be down to schreechy woman. Schreechy woman is a producer or a director on the Wright Stuff who is schreeching through Matthew’s ear piece telling him what to do next. She is either telling him to keep the caller talking or telling him to get the caller to shut up hence the attitude. Strangely I have quite a bit in common with schreechy. The first is that we were both Gamesmakers for the 2012 Olympics. Many of the stories she relayed to Matthew at the time, were very similar to mine which was a bit odd. Also quite often I’ll be thinking of a counter argument while watching a debate only to hear Matthew say “ I’ve just hear from schreechy that…” and she would have said the same thing.
Another weird thing is that Matthew is very similar to my husband. Both like heavy metal music especially from the 70’s. Matthew is a massive Hawkwind fan and my husband is a big Motorhead fan. Anyone who knows anything about 70’s rock will know that the two bands are connected. Lemmy, who is the infamous lead singer of Motorhead, used to be the bass player in Hawkwind. In fact my husband is partial to a bit a Hawkwind, when the mood takes him. Matthew also comes across as someone who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If you are in an argument with him, just give up. My husband is exactly the same and will often start a discussion with the phrase “Remember now I am always right…” at which point I give up, defeated yet again.
I think this is why the Wright Stuff appeals to me. In a weird way Matthew is like my husband and I am like schreechy, trying to keep him on the straight and narrow by yelling in his ear. It does sound a bit odd but I think that most relationships do operate on a similar basis. One half of any couple is often more sociable, opinionated, dysfunctional, irritating (delete as appropriate) than the other and it’s up to the other half to help reign that aspect in. This aspect can work two ways and there are times where my husband is my schreechy and telling me gently that no, we don’t have time for you to sing Wuthering Heights for the fifth time on karaoke, Anna. I guess it’s kind of filling in the role or a parent by setting boundaries for one another. It’s when this role becomes too restricted for the other half and this behaviour can be seen as controlling, that problems start occurring.
I’m often asked when I talk about my diagnosis and treatment, “So how did your husband take it?” It’s a really difficult question to answer. Firstly I sadly do not possess any telepathy qualities so I am unable to read his mind, something of which I am quite grateful for. Also I’m not too sure what is the correct way for a husband to respond when his wife is diagnosed with cancer. What works for one couple must surely work for them alone and not for others. You need to find a path that works for you.
When we got home from the operation it was just me and my husband. That was it. Obviously we do have families but they either lived over 200 miles away, were expecting the birth of their first child and generally had their own lives to get on with. I’m not saying that on reflection, we would have liked more help. In fact I think our relationship was strengthen by the fact that we had to rely on one another. We are both very independent people. The fact that we both met while working abroad, away from our families meant that this independance was one reason why we were attracted to one another.
A couple of weeks after the op, I had my first appointment with Dr B, my oncologist. Both myself and my husband were big fans of the medical drama House. I remember joking with my husband that I was hoping that my oncologist would be Dr Wilson, House’s best friend. That character was my only experience of oncologists up until that point. This was better than some of my friends who didn’t even know what an oncologist was until I explained it to them.
We were called through and met Dr B who turned out to be a soft spoken Scottish woman. She remarked how well I looked and briefed me on what was going to happen next.
“Your next appointment will be a fitting for a head and neck mask. They will make a mould for the mask using plaster of Paris. When the mask is made, you will then have an appointment for a mask fitting. Then they will lie you on the radiotherapy bench and check that the mask fits correctly. They will also take a CT scan of this and maybe give you a tattoo on your chest, to make sure the mask alignment is correct. You will have an induction for your six week course of radiotherapy and you will be given your radiotherapy appointments. You need to come to radiotherapy everyday for six weeks. The sessions themselves last only for 10 minutes and are painless. However over time you will suffer from very severe side effects. This is because the radiation will be going straight to you head and neck and will destroy tissue not affected by cancer. You will get mouth sores and find eating extremely painful. You will also have burns on the left side of your face and neck. We can give you medication to help you alleviate these side effects. Any questions so far?”
I looked over to my husband. He was nodding away. I couldn’t quite take it all in. Masks? Plaster of Paris? Tattoos? Painless? Well at least that bit sounded good.
My husband asked a question about pain medication, I think, but I was gone by that point. They could have been discussing about running away together as far as I was concerned, it was that word painless. The doctor had said it. Painless. Radiotherapy was going to be a doddle.