We take the modern media for granted in many ways, because we are totally immersed in them. Just as fish will be the last life form on earth to discover water, because they are completely surrounded by it and know of nothing else, so we find it difficult to imagine what life would be like without TV, the radio and the daily paper. A few contrasts between 1945 and modern times will help make the point:

n In 1945 there was no TV in Britain. The BBC resumed its post-war broadcasts in 1946 with the 25,000 viewers who happened to live close enough to Alexandra Palace to receive its signals. Now virtually every household in the kingdom has at least one TV set, with more than a hundred channels to choose from, some operating around the clock. On average, British adults now spend over 26 hours a week watching TV, and half the population watches TV news seven days a week.