I felt that it was about time to join the debate on what must be the weightiest topic of our age.

Even with new developments brewing in Ukraine. Even while warnings of irreversible climate change last week continued to threaten the horse-racing fraternity…sorry, that should have read ‘our environment’, something far bigger has emerged.

On Monday, therefore I hunched over my laptop waiting for Wally Hilloughby to issue her statement on the national tragedy which many are already calling ‘This Morningate.’

I needed to know this stuff. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Those were the days: apparently EADT readers are experts on the goings on at This Morning, Martin discoversThose were the days: apparently EADT readers are experts on the goings on at This Morning, Martin discovers

I stopped paying my TV licence fee about two years ago.

I just wasn’t watching enough telly to justify it.

Instead I have a collection of classic films, which, when I finally get a chance to sit down, I enjoy. 

I do sometimes see snippets of TV programmes on YouTube and if there’s something which I really can’t do without – like a boxed set of Hee Haw – I’ll go online and buy it.

Television is one thing. Daytime TV, is a different kettle of coconuts. 

Since I’ve never watched ITV’s This Morning, I found the current mass hysteria about Phillip Schofield’s ‘fall-from-grace’ an odd construct.

Does hosting such a show confer grace on its presenters? 

Since I still read newspapers I was vaguely aware, that a while ago the presenter had come out as gay. So far, so predictable.

If we quibbled with everyone who was gay in arts and media, we’d be left with Jim Davidson, Jeremy Clarkson and me.

So it wasn’t homophobia. 

As a revelation, it wasn’t even that apocalyptic. Then, I learned that an even bigger story had broken. I’m sure that I don’t need to give you the catch-up. From our lively letters page, I can tell that our readers are totally clued up about everything. But I’m usually the last man in Britain to know this sort of stuff.   

I wasn’t even sure who Philip Snowfield or Hilly Wallaby were.

I nearly had to ask this new AI app what it was all about.

I learned from newspaper pictures, however, that they were daytime TV presenters with an ‘on-screen chemistry’. Very cute they were too.

ITV couldn’t have done better if they’d paired up a silver meerkat and a blonde bush-baby to sit on the Sofa-of-Destiny interviewing the hapless guests each morning.

East Anglian Daily Times: Martin has finally worked out who Phil and Wally actually areMartin has finally worked out who Phil and Wally actually are

Having finally retrieved my monocle, at first glance, I thought that’s what ITV had actually done. 

Next I learned that gowns were being rended, teeth were being gnashed and lives were ‘in ruins’.  

Phillip Showpony had lost ‘literally everything’ we were told. There was concern for his well-being. He was ‘in a very bad place’ it was said. Very bad places, hey?  Been there, done that, read the book, seen the mini-series, still using the t-shirt as a duster etc.   

As for Willow Hollaby, his former companion on the sofa, she felt completely ‘let down’ because Phillip hadn’t told the truth.

What about the anonymous young man in this story? Sorry, but we had to ask.

By this time our nation was all cried-out. Not a dry shoulder in the house. Me? Much more of this stuff and I’d have gone into hyper-glycemia.  

Phillip had indeed been in very bad place. It’s called ‘television’. I discovered that in his younger days, he’d written to TV companies asking to be given a shot at the job. He was granted his wish. This only goes to show that there really are no victims, only volunteers.  

I don’t appear on television much nowadays. Once upon a time, I did, a bit.

During the early Noughties, I presented a few news documentaries.

In the 90s, as a performance poet, I was on arts shows.

East Anglian Daily Times: Martin has done a stint on telly from time to timeMartin has done a stint on telly from time to time (Image: Archant)

I guested on a gardening series. I was once on a news quiz. In fact when the director of a recent documentary about me scrabbled around, we were both surprised at the amount that turned up in the vaults.  

Actually, I didn’t like working in television. Well, it doesn’t suit absolutely everybody. The chilly breeze of ambition blowing around its corridors isn’t very nice. Long after programmes were transmitted, I noticed that people down the pub were  being odd with me: “Didn’t you used to be someone else?”

On balance I preferred radio.  

There are only two types of people in radio:those who see it as a stepping stone to TV and those who truly love radio. I prefer the second type. But if you go on telly a lot, it’s easier to get your book deal, open a restaurant, or become the face of a designer clothing firm. In television, if it ever goes wrong, your whole life goes to smash. And in the midst of it, everyone will recognise you. That’s when you find the clown mask still firmly welded to your face. No amount of tears will loosen it. I hope to rebuild my life. My wife is standing by me. People have been so kind. Etc.

Can we get on now please?