Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Last night, P and I saw Horizon on BBC2 about a guy, Nick, with Tourettes Syndrome, who is a genius piano player - but is thwarted by his fear that he will have an involuntary spasm while performing and feel embarrassed in front of his audience. So he went on a trip to America where he met all sorts of other Tourettes sufferers, who are all also gifted pianists and fascinating and intelligent people, and none of whom were among the 10-15% of Tourettes sufferers whose condition is characterised by involuntary swearing and obscenities.

This made a pleasant change from Five's Hidden Lives programme about Tourettes on Monday night, which focused on how difficult it is to get a job if you're one of the 10-15% who swears and hits out with no self-control. A rather frustrating programme - as it is clearly one of Five's attempts it get a share of the viewers by promoting 'freakery' rather than a grossly misunderstood condition - of which public awareness has only been made worse by people like Pete from Big Brother.

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