Friday, 8 August 2008

UNLIKE other TV doctors, Dr Alice Roberts is a proper, bona fide, university-trained doctor of medicine.
And, as such, she’s able to scare the bejesus out of us in her series Don’t Die Young (BBC2, Tues). Every week, she focuses on a different part of the body and then looks at how we might be destroying it through our nasty, toxin-loaded lifestyles.
You could tell flame-haired Dr Alice was a pro because she kept talking about the, “umbil-IKE-al” cord, whereas the rest of us plebs would have said umbilical.
This week, it was the turn of the liver (episode one) and the bowels (episode two). Episode one juxtaposed a pair of mother-daughter binge drinkers with the – well – sobering story of Philip, who had liver cancer.
“People can come in here seeming completely well and be dead in six weeks,” said one doctor. Great. Next, we moved on to excrement. Dr Alice had enlisted some poor female called Les who ate too much chocolate and not enough fruit.
“The last time I had a poo...” mused Les in plummy tones, “Let me try and remember... gosh... it was a few days ago...”
After being scared witless over lunch with Dr Alice (“my grandfather died of bowel cancer,” Les recalled, miserably) she gave up her Dairy Milk ways and tucked into an aubergine.
“Shortness of breath... a slight pain, diarrhoea or not going enough – these can all be symptoms of bowel cancer,” summed up Alice at the end. Blimmin’ ’eck. “It’s worth getting yourself checked out,” she finger-wagged.
Well, we would do Alice but do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a doctor’s appointment? Presumably, they’re all on TV nowadays. If we die young the mostly likely cause will be stress from watching your show.