LAST week I was called a "veteran."

At first I gulped - that was a term used for ageing footballers.

Alas, I realised it's actually not such a bad thing being regarded as a member of life's 'old school.'

Modern-day Millennial are now known as IPGs (the i-pad generation) who are, sadly, showing just what too much reliance on the internet can do.

They can't seem to get to grips with good old traditional basic skills (like veterans) according to a survey by Bupa.

Health and Social Care secretary Jeremy Hunt is now taking action working with social media bosses.

Clearly pitching to be a future PM, he does not want to govern a nation of mind-numbed robots.

As we approach local election time this should now be an all party, priority campaign.

Why did we leave it so long in this country to get to grips with the devastating impact of new technology socially and professionally?

This is coming from me - a veteran who worries about the future for our social media-obsessed children.


WHAT would life have been like if The Beatles had not existed?

The magical film It's a Wonderful Life tells the tale of an angel who shows a suicidal man what life would have been like had he not been born.

Inspired, I wrote a fantasy article about a Beatle-less world where Mathew Street and Penny Lane would just be mundane thoroughfares and there is no Merseybeat music. Liverpool would be famous, but as a port and football capital.

The Beatles - as George Harrison once said - saved the world from boredom.

I later received one of the most welcome of surprises - a 'thank you' letter in those glorious pre e-mail days.

It was on Apple headed notepaper from Derek Taylor - the Liverpool-born Beatles' press officer.

It simply said in capital letters: "WE all loved your piece."

The 'We' meant the Fabs themselves giving it the thumbs up.

I believed then it would make a great film.

So, I am looking forward to a movie by Love Actually writer Richard Curtis about such a society where only one man - played by Ed Sheeran - wakes up to find he is the only one person who can actually remember The Beatles.

Fab indeed.


ONE man who could only imagine what global fame was like was Pete Best who was dropped by The Beatles in 1962.

You wait ages for a stage version of Pete Best and - like buses - three come along.

Pete will play himself in the play Lennon's Banjo at the Epstein, which has its press night tonight but there's strings attached.

He is only doing a few shows due to touring commitments. An actor will then play him.

Wirral-based writer Rob Fennah's adapted novel is about the missing banjo with which Lennon's mum Julia taught John.

Over at the Unity Theatre, Wirral actor Adam Games will play Pete in an exciting new work opening on May 3 called BestBeat.

Sounds fab, too.

BEST of luck to all taking part in this current 'Best Fest'.


CUT! The new film Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a boost for the Channel Islands in terms of tourism just as TV series Bergerac made Jersey a 'must see' destination.

I once went to Guernsey on a media awareness trip and was looking forward to seeing both their Telephone and German Occupation Museums.

Both were closed.

Instead I went and had a selfie taken with a statue of island resident Victor Hugo.

I never saw the picturesque place in all its glory.

I wanted to see this new film until I discovered that Devon was used as a location stand-in since Guernsey has changed so much since wartime.

I have never felt so let down since I heard Boston-based Cheers and Seatle's Frasier were both filmed in California.

I will now sign up to be a member of the Virtual Reality Society where you can live life through a head-set.

They are having their annual convention in a telephone box in Luton.


THE intense thriller film A Quiet Place is certainly teaching noisy audiences how to behave.

It is about aliens who will only attack us if we make a sound.

So this is quite a challenge for those who love to rustle sweet wrappers, guzzle drinks and talk incessantly throughout.

They have to shut up.

I can't wait for the sequel.

Hear hear.


SO farewell 'darling' Dale Winton, a man who was far funnier without a script.

I interviewed Dale on the phone during his Lottery Show days and it was like talking to a young Larry Grayson.

"Just finishing the dishes," he said, "be with you in a tick."

Then the window cleaner knocked on his door. He called him 'Shammy Davis Junior.'

A joyous 'audience with' show just for my benefit.

He loved Merseysiders and said they made the best ever game show contestants.

In person he was the same.

If they gave out royalties for those posing for selfies with fans, Dale would have been a multi-millionaire.

He had charisma by the supermarket trolley load.


AND finally ...

Despite angelic harmonies The Everly Brothers didn't get on in life and there were times when that other iconic duo Lennon and McCartney did not display peace and love to each other but they eventually made up.

Not the case for Simon and Garfunkel - their rift over troubled waters is forever doomed according to a revealing new biography on Paul Simon.

How ironic that a duo who started out 60 years ago as Tom and Jerry ended fighting like cat and mouse.

Peter Grant