To Be Frank: Some more guilty secrets

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my guilty secret – watching Lorraine Pascale’s cookery programmes when I am beyond redemption in the kitchen.

A pointless exercise, you might think, unless you were a bloke and had seen the lovely Lorraine before – in which case you’d know exactly where I was coming from.

This struck a chord with reader Kevin Wilson, who was prompted to get in touch and confess his own guilty secret.

Kevin said that during the summer he had an appointment to have a carpal tunnel operation on his hand, which was done under local anaesthetic. There was, however, a problem.

“I hate – no, I am terrified of – needles and injections,” Kevin told me. “So I decided my best course of action was to close my eyes tightly, and think of my not-so-guilty secret – Millie Mackintosh, heiress to the Mackintosh chocolate empire, Chelsea girl, and also not at all a bad cook after reaching the latter stages of Celebrity MasterChef.”

And what a fine choice, if I may be so bold. I watched that series and was devastated that she went out of the competition as early as she did. Purely because I thought she was a really good cook, you understand. No, I did, actually. I thought at the start she might go on to win it.

Sorry, I digress. Back to Kevin’s operation. He continued: “As I settled myself on the operating table and felt the needle going in my hand, I closed my eyes and announced to one and all that I would be thinking of Millie Mackintosh.”

However, there was another problem. It seems Millie’s celebrity doesn’t stretch quite as far as Kevin or I might have hoped.

“I somehow think I must have spent the six or seven minutes of my op explaining just who Millie Mackintosh is,” he added, ruefully. “Still, at least Millie helped me through!”

It was good to get a happy ending – because Kevin had already had to take the flak from his family for his devotion.

“I don’t usually watch cookery programmes,” he admitted. “My wife and son had been watching Celebrity MasterChef, and were somewhat bemused when the old man took up his usual TV viewing chair.”

Kevin said it prompted such remarks as: “You don’t usually watch this,” “Why is the old chap watching this?” and: “Don’t you feel well?” ... followed closely by: “Ohhh, look who’s on!” and: “That’s the reason!”

But worse was to come. After further examination, Kevin’s wife declared: “Well I don’t think she’s anything special!”

Kevin suggested starting a poll of Britain’s most beautiful cooks and bakers, in which case his son would vote for Nigella. Me, I’d have to give a mention in dispatches to Kate, a near-finalist in this year’s Great British Bake-Off.

That aside, I wonder if any other readers have guilty secrets they’d like to confess to – programmes they’d never normally watch, but are swayed because of the presence of a certain person. Confession is good for the soul!