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Rochdale Observer - - SCHOOL NEWS -

LAN Titch­marsh is hav­ing a rant. The TV pre­sen­ter, gar­den­ing guru, best­selling au­thor of ro­man­tic fic­tion and pal of the Prince of Wales be­lieves so­cial me­dia is af­fect­ing so­ci­ety in a sim­i­lar way to how bindweed in­vades beds and bor­ders, chok­ing its vic­tims.

The no-non­sense York­shire­man is here to dis­cuss his lat­est novel, The Scar­let Nightin­gale, a tale of wartime der­ring-do in which a Bri­tish woman, who finds her­self work­ing in in­tel­li­gence, is sent to oc­cu­pied France to help de­stroy an ar­ma­ments fac­tory mak­ing parts for Ger­man tanks.

His nov­els fre­quently take you back to a time of old-fash­ioned val­ues and ten­der ro­mance – a far cry from to­day’s in-your-face no­tions of love de­picted in pop­u­lar shows such as Love Is­land and First Dates – and this lat­est tale is no dif­fer­ent.

So it is un­sur­pris­ing that Alan, 69, laments that the age in which he grew up has long gone, as gen­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tions have been re­placed with stark text mes­sag­ing and the on­slaught of so­cial me­dia.

“I go on magazine pro­grammes with peo­ple whose names I won’t men­tion, and they are tweet­ing in the ad breaks,” he says in­cred­u­lously. “And I’m sit­ting there on the sofa like a le­mon. That ir­ri­tates me.”

And de­spite pleas from his pub­li­cists, he won’t be pro­mot­ing any of his books or TV projects on so­cial me­dia be­cause he re­fuses to en­gage with it.

“So­cial me­dia makes peo­ple too

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