On December 11th 2001 I caught part of a conversation from the Richard and Judy TV show where host, Richard Madeley, was challenging a lady guest who said that a man should always be held at least fifty per cent responsible for any pregnancy, even when it could be shown through conversations and diary entries that a woman had deceived him and had done it deliberately.
I was angered by her stance, not least because the jaws of this kind of trap had once nearly closed on me, and for the only time in my life I was moved to call in to a live TV discussion programme to give my thoughts.
I got through to an assistant and told her that in my opinion a new criminal offence should be created for the act of entrapment. Certainly there would be great difficulty in obtaining evidence, but, when possible, prosecutions should be brought.
(Later my wife asked what ought to be thought of some of her ex-partners who had not asked her if she had contraception.
A good point...)
My details were taken and I was asked if I wished a pseudonym to be used. I said to call me "Peter." She said that in the remaining twenty-three minutes of broadcast time there was a chance that I might be called back by the show to speak live on air with the hosts.
I re-entered the living room and heard Madeley take just two more calls on this subject.
One was from "Simon" from London.
Most of the talk had been from the woman’s perspective, but he said that he had the opposite take on the matter, for at the age of seventeen he had received a telephone call out of the blue from a girl informing him that he had a one year old child. Nowadays he saw the child but had nothing to do with the mother.
I recognised the voice and, at least part of, the tale.
It was David Francis, with whom I had worked at Intervisual Advertising in London in the mid 1990s