One would imagine the difference between listening 5Live and Radio 4 in the morning would be a simple matter of light and shade; economic gloom and dogs on skateboards. Instead,switching between the two, I've learned all of current affairs is now just one sudsy slurry of gossip and intrigue. No matter what the subject is we'll reduce it to a tale of love, betrayal and crimes of passion.
Last week I snoozed my way though Gordon Brown's metamorphosis into a grunting, punchy Phil Mitchell figure. This morning it was football fans agonising over whether they'd boo John Terry tonight. 'It was a mistake to play him, guv. It's only a friendly (friendly!) it doesn't matter - I'm going to make my feelings clear'. Yes, but is he any good on the pitch? In time gone by men would get this animated his ball control on the pitch, not off it. Goodness knows he earns such an obscene sum of money Terry could afford to buy ear plugs if he's that bothered. Or just man up and do his job.
We've become a nation of washer women, forming an excitable gaggle every time a juicy scrap of news is thrown into the streets. Just look at the Greek chorus that assembled in the Twittersphere for Cheryl Cole once Ashley's yellowing Y-fronts were exposed in the papers. With the kind of enthusiasm for tittle tattle worthy of Loose Women they commentated on her every move, including her performance at the BRITs - not for its professional aptitude (or lack thereof), but for signs of emotional fatigue.
Whether it's politics or popular culture, it's the human interest angle that gets people talking. No wonder the Daily Star is now selling itself as 'Not Just for Boys', it's discovered we're all obsessed with tits.