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OPINION: Colin Baker – Pour me a coffee, Gogglebox is on

It doesn’t seem long since I wrote about my inability to understand anyone paying three pounds and more for a cup of coffee in a carton when you can make it for yourself for a fraction of the cost. Many of my colleagues in the theatre had succumbed to this marketing racket and I certainly wasn’t going to. I couldn’t understand why they all arrived at rehearsals cup in hand when there was a tin of catering instant provided by the management for our use. Pretentious I thought. They have all succumbed to relentless advertising campaigns and peer pressure. You will never see me in one of those overhyped, overpriced outlets.

Wind forward a few years and I had to meet up with a friend in one of the well-known tax dodging coffee chain outlets. It was the only convenient place we could both make at the appointed time. The list of available concoctions was outside my knowledge and experience, so he chose for me.

And of course, as you may well have predicted, I was hooked. I am now a card carrying coffophile and recently took out from the back of the cupboard the expensive coffee machine my youngest daughter gave us a few Christmases ago, which to my shame I had forgotten we had.

It is now our most frequently used piece of kitchen equipment and I have just accepted a delivery of pods of latte macchiato, Americano and Café Crema, which don’t last very long.

What all this says about me, about the power of marketing, about changing tastes and aspirations, I will leave for others to decide.

But it does confirm what I probably should have realised anyway – that just because it seems to be a fad and new-fangled doesn’t mean that it is inherently bad or wrong.

Like if you had told me that a programme on television which watches people watching television would ever be made let alone watched, I would have thought you certifiable. However Gogglebox is that programme and my TV is set to record it because it is a cleverly made brilliant vox pop delivered by some riveting people. I met the vicar from the programme last week – she with the quiet husband and upside down sleeping greyhound. It was refreshing for me to be the fan for a change. As you might expect from a lady in orders she was delightfully tolerant of my gushing.

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