It’s unusual for me to start the New Year on a positive note (rest assured, it won’t last) Not only is Christmas over for another year but I read on this here t’internet about a report that said the good old National Health Service has advised that sex is good for you. However, without wishing to rain on any parade, I feel I must take issue with some of its findings.

‘Sexercise’ can lower the risk of heart attacks and help people live longer. So said the report. My father, God rest his soul, was married three times and had countless affairs. He died of a heart attack at just 58 years old – it may well have been that his extra-marital activities helped contribute to his early demise. I don’t know if he died with a smile on his face but he was on his own at the time…

What also intrigues me is how the NHS discover these nuggets of information. Presumably by conducting surveys or getting organisations to do this on their behalf. But how accurate are the findings? I have to say I’ve never been asked to help with a survey about my sex life. If I were I would almost certainly give misleading answers.

How old are you, Mr Smith?

52 (that bit’s true)

And how many times a week do you have sex?

Oh, twice, sometimes three times a night…(aye, right)

I see.

Occasionally there’s someone with me….

Quite. Do you talk to your partner when you make love?

Only if she’s on the phone…

You’re not taking this seriously, are you Mr Smith?

Well, you started it…

However, perhaps I’m doing the NHS boffins a disservice. I do occasionally receive ‘spam’ emails from less than reputable online pharmaceutical companies offering me ‘Viagra’ at a reduced rate. I once asked my local chemist – on behalf of a friend, you understand – about Viagra and if I could get it over the counter. ‘Only if you take the whole packet at once’ he replied.

On a similar theme, I read that Dr Simon Campbell, the man who started and oversaw research on Viagra while working for the drug company Pfizer, received a knighthood in the New Years’ Honours list. May I be the 94th person to ask if Her Majesty will be able to keep a straight face when placing the sword on Dr Campbell’s shoulder and saying ‘Arise, Sir Simon…’

I must go now as a fella has just knocked on my door offering me a thick six inch object made from wax. Turns out it’s a candle – he’s from Scottish Power and he’s come to cut my electricity off…