Daily Express

Well worth checking out

- Matt Baylis on last night’s TV

I’M NOT good with surgery. I recently had to stop the vet from explaining to me what he’d done to my dog’s nether regions and my wife had to carry him home (the dog, that is, not the vet). After my son’s birth the midwife argued that a sack of potatoes would have been more use in the delivery room than the father because a sack of potatoes would not have trembled, gagged, screamed and constantly needed to lie on the floor.

It’s a measure of how good the rest of NEVER SEEN A DOCTOR (C4) was that I didn’t switch it off for showing me scenes of vein stripping and eyelid dissection.

I realised that if I’d needed any of the procedures shown in the programme this was stuff I’d have wanted to see. I’d have been reassured to see what was involved and reassuring was very much the point behind the whole exercise.

Katie Piper, a former model who suffered extensive facial burns after an acid attack, is a presenter who thoroughly understand­s the terrain of the show.

It doesn’t involve people who have never needed to see a doctor, it’s the people who do and yet don’t. In many cases the pain of the affliction is matched by the harm it wreaks upon the soul.

Sue from Romford had spent years disguising her missing teeth with a strip of chewing gum. When she didn’t have chewing gum she simply never ventured out.

Lily, 20, was battling her desire to crawl into bed and stay there. Bell’s palsy had paralysed the muscles of her face. A further complicati­on had stopped one eyelid from shutting. She was trying to live the life of a carefree young woman at university but there were days when it all got too much.

It was heartening to see that conditions so life-limiting could be sorted out in relatively straightfo­rward fashion. Behind such examples lay an important message to all of us. Seek help, get it checked out. Or, since Lily had been promised a consultati­on with an eye surgeon but not received one until the TV show became involved, perhaps it’s something else. Keep on pestering until you get seen.

KILLER WOMEN WITH PIERS MORGAN (ITV) visited turf very recently covered on the same channel by Sir Trevor McDonald.

If Piers later crops up meeting the Mafia or exposing the underbelly of Las Vegas we’ll know where he gets his ideas from.

In this one, at least, he’d found a story that stood out from the competitio­n.

Erin Caffey, 24, looked like a runner-up in the Miss Texas contest. Sweet-faced, pixie-voiced and capable of doing a cracking rendition of Amazing Grace, you could be forgiven for thinking that Erin was only in prison because she’d been fitted up, led astray or had just been mistaken for someone else.

The US courts, on the other hand, took the view that she’d planned and instigated the slaying of her family, aged 16, because her parents had banned her from seeing her boyfriend.

The uniqueness of the story lay not in the prettiness of the prisoner or the savagery of what happened to her victims.

It was the fact that her father Terry, who survived the attack, had forgiven her.

Was it the only way this man could cope with the loss of the rest of his family? Was it the power of his faith? Or was it, as Piers failed to ponder, just guilt? Wickedness is raised, after all, not born.

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