Archives for January 2009

Credit card cheques

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 14:23 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009


To find out more information, watch the film above.


Lucy Siegle looked at credit card cheques. They're the blank cheques that are sent out to us by post from some credit card companies. They can be used to consolidate debts, get cash quickly or pay off bills.


As Lucy reported in the film, over 280 million cheques were sent out last year and while the average interest rate on a card is 17% the average APR on a cheque is a lot higher at 27%.


For advice from the government on how to deal with debts.

DirectGov website on credit


See also: Industry guidelines on credit card cheques set out by the UK payments association.


Add your comment below.

How should we deal with young offenders?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 14:22 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009


Add your comment.


Tonight, Rav Wilding met Chris Streeks. Chris was in and out of prison for 18 years - for attempted murder, drugs, burgulary and armed robbery. Chris has been through the prison system and turned his life around. He tells the young people he works with:

Chris Streeks"Crime is not glamorous. It is not an easy way out. You'll spend most of your time in prison and might end up dead."

Chris has been law abiding for more than ten years. He's now an actor, film maker and mentor. He's delivered his skills and life training courses at schools and pupil referral units and is an associate artist at the National Youth theatre.

Chris says youth crime stems from poor parenting and educational opportunities:

"We've got a group of people who've become disengaged from society - because of bad parenting and the lack of the right education. It's our duty to take care of our young people, the same as it's our duty to take care of our old people."

"I'm not saying that people who have committed violent crime should not be locked up - they need to be locked up."

But Chris is a believer in rehabilitation in prison:

"I went into treatment, I had counselling, therapy, attended an enhanced thinking skills course and an offending behaviour course - which looked at why I offended. I also addressed my drug problems.

"Because I was able to address my emotional problems, I could go on and have some sort of clarity with my life.

"Deal with the emotional problems, then you can get the skills and the confidence... and then you can get the career - and the benefits of leading a life that is law abiding, and contributing to society."

More about Chris at his website:

How should we deal with young offenders? Add your comment, below.

Dom update: Heating grants

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:43 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009


Add your comment.


The One Show reported on the Warm Front scheme in November 2008. Warm Front is a government grant scheme in England that gives poorer households up to £2,700 to make their homes warmer, healthier and more energy efficient.

 The film triggered a massive response - click here to read just some of the comments you sent in.

The One Show took note of your concerns and sent Dom Littlewood to follow up the story. Dom put tough questions to Joan Ruddock the government minister responsible for the scheme.

Joan has agreed to us forwarding your concerns directly to her - fill in the form here.

Have you received a grant to make energy saving improvements to your home? Would you recommend applying for a grant? Share your experiences with One Show viewers, below.

Cancer: Recovered but not covered for travel?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:36 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Can't see the film? Watch it here.


Tonight, Dom Littlewood investigated the problem of getting travel insurance when you've recovered from cancer.

He met 68 year old David Griffiths who's been in remission from prostate cancer for a few years, but still struggled to get travel cover.

Useful link

Macmillan Cancer Support - Getting travel insurance (external website).

Have you recovered from cancer, and struggled to get travel insurance? Add your comment.

Mobile phones can seriously affect your credit record

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:49 UK time, Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Can't see the film? Watch it here.

Add your comment.

There are 74 million mobile phones in Britain. The owners of 26 million of them have signed up to a mobile phone contract.

 As Lucy Siegle found out, there can be more to these contracts than you might expect. They could seriously affect your credit score because mobile phone contracts are actually credit agreements.

Lucy met Rachel Westbury. Rachel had tried to leave her phone provider, but they claimed she owed them £33.12 which she believed she had paid.

Because of this small contractual dispute, the phone company's claim that she was a bad lender was added to her credit record, and Rachel has been been refused credit with other companies.

Rachel: "I didn't think that an amount such as £33 for a mobile phone contract would have such an affect on my credit and mean that I can't get credit or can't get a mortgage or store cards. I just find it baffling and just appalled."

Lucy's advice: While Rachel tries to get the phone company to acknowledge that she wasn't a bad borrower, she can get the credit agency to put a note on her file explaining her situation. When the dispute is sorted out she could then ask for the file to be amended.

If you want to keep your file clean and remain on contract, Lucy's advice is to pay by direct debit, which should ensure that all of your calls are paid for.

See also: Credit record advice - Consumer Direct (external website).

Have you had difficulties with your phone contract? How do you keep your credit record clean? Can you pass on any hints and tips? Add your comment.

Food allergies: Is it all in our heads?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:48 UK time, Tuesday, 27 January 2009


Add your comment.


Tonight, Clare Balding investigated food allergies and intolerances. She asked if we've become too fussy about the food we eat.

Clare met nutritionist Azmina Govindji. She explained the difference between an allergy and intolerance, and warned against the dangers of self-diagnosis. She recommends a visit to the doctor if you are worried about an allergy or intolerance.

Celebrity culture was also mentioned. Has the rise in allergies come in part from celeb culture and the way that we model ourselves on those in the public eye?


But Clare also met Tony Hart. Tony's food intolerance is very real. He has Coeliac disease, which is caused by a reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, and other similar proteins found in rye, barley and oats. The disease affects approximately one in 100 people in the UK. Tony is a member of the charity Coeliac UK - external website here.


See also: Allergy symptom checker - NHS website.


Have we all become too fussy about food? Or are food allergies and intolerances much more common than many of us realise? Have changes to your diet improved your life? Have your say.

Should painkillers be prescription only?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:52 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009


MPs have warned that more than 30,000 people in the UK are addicted to painkillers.

The addicts are mostly women in middle age who risk liver dysfunction, drowsiness and stomach ulcers if they continue to take the codeine based medicines.

Paddy O'Connell talked to Janet Richardson, a long term addict (although she doesn't like to use the term) of over-the-counter painkillers. Janet was in no doubt: Codeine based painkillers should be prescription only, as in the USA.

More information about Janet's story here. The website mentioned in the film is Over-Count.

Should painkillers be prescription only? Is pill-popping the too-easy option? Should we stop taking so many pills? Or do you value convenient pain-relief? Add your comment, please.

Celeb secrets: Staying young

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:46 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009


Can't see the exclusive video? Watch here.


All week Michael Mosley has been investigating the secrets to staying young.

So we asked three celebrities how they retain their youthful looks. Kelly Brook, Robin Gibb and Michael Ball all had words of wisom for us.

Which celeb uses mashed suede as a facepack? Watch the video to find out!

How do you stay so young? Tell us your tips, below.

How to prevent wrinkles. Face creams may help...

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:35 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009


Can't see the film? Watch it here.


All this week Michael Mosley has been on the hunt for the elusive elixir of youth.

In tonight's film he met dermatologist Dr Robin Stones and they put anti-wrinkle creams to the test. Dr Stones told Michael that 90% of wrinkles are caused by sun damage. But are there any face cream out there that can reverse this damage?


Do anti-wrinkle creams work?

Michael and viewer Angela Drake applied anti-wrinkle creams to their faces for three months. The dermatologist believes that retinoic acid is effective at reversing aging, so...

Michael used a prescription-only cream containing retinoic acid on one side of his face and nothing on the other. Creams containing retinoic acid can cause intense irritation to skin, and that's why they're prescription only.

Angela used an over the counter anti-wrinkle cream (containing a weak concentration of retinoids) on half of her face and sunscreen on the other.

Please note: According to dermatologist Dr Stones 1 in 5 people will not respond to any anti-wrinkle treatments as they do not have a necessary receptor in their skin.


The results

After three months they returned to the dermatologist to have their wrinkles examined.

The results: Michael's wrinkles were "significantly improved" by the prescription only cream.

Angela's over the counter cream made a small improvement to her wrinkles on one side of her face. Sunscreen made no improvement to her wrinkles but caused no extra damage to her skin.



The dermatologist was cautious about recommending over-the-counter creams as they do not tell you what concentration of retinoids they contain.

When pressed he said to look for an anti-wrinkle cream that features retinol high up on its list of ingredients.

He recommends using a good sunscreen - because if you want to avoid wrinkles, it is better to prevent sun damage in the first place.


Do you have a skin care routine that reduces wrinkles? Do you have a natural remedy for wrinkles that you'd like to share? Please don't mention brand-names. Add your comment.

Is swearing still offensive?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:19 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009


The furore around bad language on television seemed to suggest that the tide was turning against naughty words in this country.

But as Kirsten O'Brien found out, a new study suggests that for most of us swearing is no big deal - with 90% of adults admitting to swearing every day.

Is there too much swearing on TV? Are you offended by swearing? Or should we all "grow up"? Add your comment.

Bailiffs - more information

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:03 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009


For The One Show, Paddy O'Connell looked at some of the tricks of the trade bailiffs use to recover fines, and what is and isn't allowed.

For more information on bailiffs, click the links below:

Bailiffs - Citizens Advice

HM Courts advice

Scottish Courts

Northern Ireland


Do you have hints and tips for dealing with bailiffs? Add your comment.

Test your reactions: Play the Sheep Dash game!

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:00 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009


All week our science man Michael Mosley has been looking at ways of keeping yourself looking fit and young.

In the fourth film of the series, he looked at how it seems to be possible to turn back the clock of our ageing brains, and regain some of our lost brain power through problem solving.


Still from Sheep Dash gameTest your reactions

Click here to play the Sheep Dash game!


After playing, remember to click the back button on your web browser and tell us how you got on, below. Add your score.


How to play: You have to fire a tranquiliser dart and stop five sheep dashing for freedom. It's easy to play - you only have to click your mouse button five times - and each game lasts under a minute. At the end of the game it tells you how long it took you to react to the dashing sheep.

And tells you if you're a sluggish snail, ambling armadillo, bobbing bobcat, rocketing rabbit, or turbo-charged cheetah.

Which one are you? After playing, remember to click the back button on your web browser and tell us how you got on, below. Add your score.

Do detoxes work?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:43 UK time, Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Can't see the film? Watch it here.

The theory behind detox diets is that you can get rid of toxins by increasing liver and kidney function. In the third of his 'How to stay young' films, Michael Mosley met Andy and Ally.

For seven days, Ally followed Ursula Arens' detox diet plan while Andy continued to eat his usual diet. For seven days Ally ate no wheat (bread and pasta) dairy or chocolate, but drank lots of water and ate lots of nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables. Both men drank no alcohol for seven days.

After one week, Dr David Goldsmith, a consultant nephrologist, compared Andy and Ally's livers and kidneys.

And the results? The diet made no difference to Ally's kidneys. But both men's livers improved slightly, which Dr Goldsmith put down to the absence of alcohol.

Dr Goldsmith suggests that a detox diet makes little difference in the short term, but may be healthier if followed over a longer period of time.

Do detoxes work? What diet do you recommend for good health? Add your comment.

What's driving mums to drink?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 15:58 UK time, Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Add your comment.

A worried grandmother contacted us about her daughter's drink problem. We looked into it and "Emma", her 40 year old daughter, agreed to tell her story to The One Show's Anita Rani.


Emma is a mum of three. When the pressures of raising a young family began to take their toll, Emma's depression worsened and she began to turn to drink for comfort. She told Anita: "I'd think, well, the kids are in bed, my duties are done, I'm allowed to sit down and have a glass of wine". But over time she began to drink more heavily - and could not keep her alcoholism a secret.

Emma's mother attempted to seek assistance for her daughter, but struggled to obtain any help or treatment.

Out of desperation she then contacted The One Show. She feels that her daughter's story highlights a bigger issue - that many mums are misusing alcohol, but society is not prepared to recognise the problem. More than a million British children are living with a parent that misuses alcohol.

Where to get help

Drinkline - the National Alcohol Helpline provides a free confidential alcohol counselling and information service.
Helpline: 08009178282 (9am-11pm, Tues-Thurs, Frid 9am-Mon 11pm).
Asian language line 0990 133 480 (1pm-8pm, Mon).

Alcohol misuse - NHS website
Alcohol Concern.
Alchohol -

But what is driving mums to drink?

Virginia Ironside is an agony aunt. Her postbag is stuffed with letters from women from all walks of life battling alcohol addiction. Virginia said to Anita: "I think a lot of [mothers] feel very lonely. I think a lot of them are very bored. I think the stress of boredom is acute. And looking after small children can be extremely dull.

"It's now seen to be fine for a woman to be drunk... a boozy woman used to be seen as something utterly shameful. And now it's just what women do."

Gail, the addiction expert that Anita spoke to at Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol, believes we won't stop mums drinking too much until we tackle Britain's booze culture. She said: "alcohol is incredibly cheap. There is a lot of targeting alcohol towards women and a lot of money spent on advertising alcohol that will appeal to women."

Emma has now stopped drinking. She said: "This is one addiction that I knew could kill me and it nearly did."

What do you think is driving mums to drink? Is this problem that should be recognised by society? Are you reluctant to seek help for your problem drinking? Add your comment.

Should we all have a smart meter, now?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:00 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009


As Dom Littlewood found out, so-called "smart meters" are the next generation of gas and electricity meters which will be able to tell consumers and suppliers how much energy is being used in the home at any given moment.

The inaccurate, and often dreaded, estimated bill would be banished if smart meters are in use in a home.

But smart meters are not yet widely available.

There's an initiative set up by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which is being carried out by Ofgem, to try to set up smart meters in all UK households in the next 10 years.

Under a £10 million Government programme, match-funded by four energy suppliers, meters have been fitted in around 15,000 British homes to provide feedback on whether they help customers improve household energy efficiency.

Though most people don't have them yet, there are a few small companies that supply 3-4% of the market. Dom met Val and Alan Thame, their smart meter was supplied by a smaller company - First Utility.

However, it is the big six energy suppliers that will drive the smart meter roll-out in the future.

Should the roll-out of smart meters be speeded up? Would you welcome a smart meter into your home? Or are you content with the way you pay for your utilities? Add your comment.

Does Obama inspire you?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:59 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009


Add your comment.


Barack Obama's election campaign was about change and hope. Now that he's been officially sworn in as President of the United States, what does it mean for black Brits?

Barack ObamaThe issue of role models for young black men is a perennial debate within and without the black community.

It's been said that by becoming the first African-American President, Barack Obama has created the notion and idea that anything is possible within the black community.

This particularly applies to young black males, many of whom never thought they would ever see something like this happen in their lifetime.

Obama is living proof of how one can better themselves to achieve, but will Obama's appointment change mentalities and raise hope in Britain?

For The One Show, Angellica Bell asked three prominent black people for their views on how Britain's black community will react to Barack Obama's presidency.

Angellica spoke to head teacher Sir William Atkinson, DJ and producer Jazzie B and judge Constance Briscoe.

It's a "positive signal" said Sir Atkinson "the message from Obama is that you need to keep on keeping on".

Jazzie B was cautious about the Obama effect in the UK, but added that "he did it, so we can".

Constance Briscoe told Angellica: "He gives me a certain amount of hope... no matter what your background is... you can achieve". But Constance did not believe she would see a black British prime minister in her lifetime.


Does Obama inspire you? What effect will President Barack Obama have on black people in Britain? Will young black people be aspired by his achievement? Or will it make little difference? Add your comment.

Does exercise keep you young?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:58 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009


In the second film of his 'How to stay young' series, Michael Mosley met 62 year-old twins Gloria and Gillian. Gloria exercises twice and week and Gillian doesn't. Michael measured how much oxygen they use whilst doing exercise and looked at their dna to assess who is fittest and scientifically 'oldest'.

The results were.... drumroll, please...

Gillian, with her more sedentary lifestyle, was considered to be ten years 'older' than Gloria but with a mild increase in exercise, Gillian improved her oxygen levels to that of her sister's.

Does exercise keep you young? What exercise do you recommend? Pass on your hints and tips, please.

What's your super-food? Blueberries?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 18:03 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009


This week on The One Show, science reporter Michael Mosley is investigating what will really keep us young and  beautiful.

Do you look younger than your years? Send in a current photo of yourself here, and tell us the secret to staying young. Your picture could be shown on the programme!

In his first 'How to stay young' film, Michael looks at the claim that eating blueberries can improve our memories.


As we get older our short-term memories tend to deteriorate. With age the hippocampus, the memory centre of the brain, starts to shrink and cells have fewer connections. So we find it harder to remember.

Research in the United States by Robert Krikorian has shown statistically significant improvements in memory following a 12-week trial in which people consumed blueberry juice or concord grape juice.

And studies in rats have shown that there is improvement in the hippocampi of older, blueberry-fed rats, they look like the brains of younger rats.

In Michael's blueberries test, he asked three viewers to eat blueberries every day for three months. The memories of the two viewers he re-tested did show an improvement.

See also: Blueberries 'reverse memory loss' - BBC News.
And: Fruit and vegetables - BBC Health.

Do you believe that blueberries can help our memories? What food keeps you young and beautiful? Tell us your hints and tips please.

Lie detectors in UK courts?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:58 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009


Add your comment.


On tonight's One Show, forensic psychiatrist Don Grubin told us that lie detectors, also known as polygraphs, are 80 to 90% accurate. He pointed out that eyewitness accounts are only 65 to 70% accurate, and they're admissable as evidence in UK courts.

Also in the film, retired police officer Clint Elliot told us that polygraphs could be used to help steer an investigation the right way - speeding up process of bringing criminals to justice.

The family of Michael Shields believe that the tool could make a difference to Michael's case. Michael was convicted of trying to kill a man in Bulgaria, and his family believe that a lie detector test could help to prove Michael's innocence.

But lie detectors remain controversial - their test results are not accepted by UK courts, because of doubts about their accuracy. As Chairman of the British Polygraphic Association Bruce Burgess said: "The problem being that if you get a judge or jury accepting the evidence of the polygraph, it could be used as a guilty or innocent tool... and we could do away with the court. And we can't do that, it wouldn't be a justice system."

Do you want to see lie detectors in British courts? Do you trust the polygraph to protect the innocent and convict the guilty?

How to reclaim the money in your dormant account

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 11:53 UK time, Thursday, 15 January 2009


Can't see Lucy's film? Watch it here.

There's £860 million lying unclaimed in "lost" or forgotten accounts in British banks and building societies.

Lucy Siegle told us what to do if you think you may have lost touch with your account or savings.

She recommended visiting, a free service brought to you by the British Bankers' Association, the Building Societies Association and National Savings and Investments.

If you need to trace a lost account, you can make a claim online, by clicking here.

Or you can make a claim by post. Download the forms below:

Bank: Trace dormant accounts leaflet.

Building society: Trace dormant accounts leaflet.

National Savings: Trace dormant savings leaflet.

Have you been reunited with money in a dormant account? Any hints and tips you can pass on?

Ban the chuggers?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 11:31 UK time, Thursday, 15 January 2009


Add your comment.

For The One Show, Angelica Bell has been out and about with face-to-face fundraisers - so-called "chuggers", a nickname for "charity muggers".

In November 2008 charity watchdog, Intelligent Giving studied the tactics of 50 so-called "chuggers", and found that they are not the best way to give.

But a Public Fundraising Regulatory Association spokesperson defended the "chuggers" as an appropriate and effective method of fundraising even if they can be sometimes "over enthusiastic" in their pursuit of donations.

Do you stop for chuggers? Does the fact that they're raising money for charity excuse their behaviour? Should they be banned? Or maybe you support the work that they do? Tell us please.

Should life mean life?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 17:04 UK time, Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Add your comment.

In the UK a life prison sentence usually means that the convicted person will spend, on average, 14 years behind bars.

Justin RowlattBut should life mean life? The One Show's Justin Rowlatt went to meet two families whose tragic experiences have led them to different conclusions.

 The Johnson's 22-year-old son was murdered by three youths in 2007. The Johnsons say that they will never forgive and that the life sentences given to their son's killers were not long enough. The sentences received were minimum terms of 17 years, 16 years and 13 years in prison. To the Johnsons, the killers "should be in prison 'til they die".

 Lorraine Dinnegan does not agree. Her son was also murdered in 2007. His killer received a sentence of a minimum of twelve years in prison. Lorraine says she has forgiven, and that having to live with the fact you have committed murder is a life sentence in itself. She believes that once criminals have been rehabilitated, then their release should be considered.

Should life mean life? Should those who commit serious crimes, go to jail for the rest of their lives? Or do you think that criminals can be rehabilitated and released back into society?

Add your comment.

How will you change your life in 2009?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 16:43 UK time, Monday, 12 January 2009


Can't see the film? Watch it here

Add your comment.

The rat race can get a lot of us down, so much so that some people give it up completely.

This week on The One Show, Carol Thatcher is meeting people who have done just that, with the hope of improving the quality of their lives.

Friday: Carol travelled to Dorset to meet Pat Bowcock, the first of our down shifters. Pat swapped her 'normal' life to live in a caravan on a water meadow she purchased.

Thursday: Carol met Chris and Hannah Blevins, who gave up their jobs and moved to Lincolnshire to set up a small farm.

Wednesday: Carol travelled to the North York Moors to meet Stewart and Rebecca Thompson. Rebecca's dream was to work for the national parks, so the couple downshifted and made the dream come true. Rebecca's now employed as a conservation officer and Stuart works as a ranger.

Tuesday: Carol met Jo Hampson and Georgina Perkins. They both quit their very successful jobs in the police force to run a small smokehouse.

Monday: Carol met Wendy Henry. She quit her high-powered job in the media to work in a dogs home. "My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner" says Wendy.

How will you improve your life this year? What plans have you made? Are you brave enough to change your lifestyle completely? Have you made the change and have some hints and tips to pass on? Add your comment.

Do any diets work?

Host_Ryan - One Show team | 15:46 UK time, Monday, 12 January 2009

Comments (22)

For many people the battle with the bulge is a lifelong struggle. On tonight's show Anita Rani looked at the dangers of taking slimming pills. Side effects of the tablets can include excruciating headaches, heart murmurs, addiction and in extreme cases heart attack


The drugs work a bit like amphetamines as they stimulate the central nervous system by mimicking the natural effect of adrenalin. Once that kicks in, heart rate increases and suppresses the appetite.

You can report suspected counterfeit medicines to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Do any diets work?

The diet industry is big business. Adverts suggest that there are hundreds of ways to lose weight.

Over the years experts have suggested various ways of fighting the flab. Including cutting out carbohydrates, eating nothing but cabbage or drinking water to curb hunger. There's lots of info about eating for health at the British Dietetic Association website.

What diets do you think really work? Do you have any weight loss tips? Is it possible to stick to a diet and keep the weight off? Add your comment.

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