Five things that used to happen during the climactic episode of a TV drama before you could pause it

BEFORE the dawn of modern TV, broadcasts could not be paused. And these were the things that inevitably ruined them.

Phone ringing

Not a pocket-sized one you can easily put on silent, but a whopping great cacophonous bastard that completely dominated the hallway. Just as you were about to find out who shot J.R., it would start demanding your attention by clanging away louder than a church bell. It’s not like you could rewind TV back then either, so if you missed the big moment, you were f**ked.

TV aerial falling down

TVs still rely on aerials to receive transmissions, but back before pause buttons they bloody well knew their power and exerted it. For weeks on end they’d stay securely bolted to the side of your house, then just as Number Six was about to find out the identity of Number One, it would promptly fall down and lose the signal. Not that you’d have understood the end of The Prisoner if you’d seen it anyway.

Someone arriving at the door

Neighbours, family members and Jehovah’s Witnesses had a sixth sense that you were utterly absorbed watching the likes of Dirty Den handing Angie her divorce papers. They’d be clamouring at your door demanding your real-time attention while you tried to tune them out. After all, the internet wasn’t around back then and you couldn’t Google important plot details later.

Electricity running out

No matter how much you’d topped up the meter, it would always seem to run out and shut down just as a dramatic reveal you’d been waiting months for was about to be unveiled. Maybe missing Trevor Jordache being discovered under the patio was character-building though. Nowadays you’ve gone soft and lose your shit if the internet dares to buffer for so much as half a second.

Stupid questions from significant other

Sadly this irritating occurrence still happens. But back in the day you’d miss the nail-biting conclusion just getting your stupid partner up to speed. Quite why you patiently answered their questions about plot, characters and motives you’re still unsure about. Maybe because telling them to shut the f**k up so you could concentrate would have resulted in a massive argument that would definitely have stopped you seeing Ross and Rachel finally kiss.

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Man still unsure why he spent whole of school best mates with a twat

THIRTY years on, a man is wondering why he spent five years of secondary school best mates with a chronic knobhead.

Joe Turner and Steve Malley were inseparable during their years at Churchfields Secondary in Swindon, even though Malley was a bellend throughout.

Turner said: “He was gangly, not particularly bright, shouted catchphrases from Bo! Selecta and deliberately jumped in puddles for a laugh. I spent every day with him for five years.

“Why? He didn’t even have a hot sister or a decent games console. He was f**king annoying to sit with, got me in shit with the teachers, his lunch stank and he wanged on about golf all the time.

“Once he shouted ‘Bellend parade!’ at older kids on bikes and they gave us a proper kicking when I hadn’t even done anything. When Manesha pushed him off stage at the school disco I laughed.

“And when I got into girls he was even worse. The number of potential snogs I lost because of that wankshaft. I didn’t get invited to parties for fear Malley would come. Nonetheless, I hung out with him every single day.”

Turner added: “Then we went to sixth form and I dropped him immediately and haven’t seen him since.”