Its all been a bit gloomy on the news over recent weeks and it is quite tempting to stop watching so that you are not faced with depressing pictures. I am, rather unwisely, partial to a spot of burying my head in the sand.

The problem with this approach is that you can easily miss things that you might want to see. I have developed a cunning method for deciding whether to hit the off button during the bulletin. It involves listening to the news readers tone as they introduce the piece. If they start in a bright ‘it feels like a Friday afternoon’ voice then you know that they will be talking about fluffy subjects like abseiling vicars and celebrities doing charity work.

If, however, they begin to talk in sombre tones it is sure sign that trouble is brewing.

It is the same principle as being able to guess the score of the football match as the reporter reads the results on a Saturday afternoon.

I had hoped that I might be able to transfer this new found skill to watching the weather report but the presenters are not as helpful in this respect.

They must be trained to speak in an ‘I have the best job in the world’ kind of voice no matter what the weather conditions. Smiling, almost smugly, they announce that storms will be covering the country.

I don’t mind them being happy when it is going to be sunny but do they have to enjoy telling us to expect grey skies and showers.

Thinking about the summer we have just missed out on perhaps they have had to try and over compensate in order to keep us watching.

Some years ago when Michael Fish brought us news of the climate he would do so in a fully professional way only offering us an occasional smile or chuckle when asked if a hurricane was about to hit our shores. He was more understated, of course, when he came on our screens to apologise later that same week.

You have to feel slightly sorry for weather men and women when it comes to presenting the forecast especially when you consider the last few months.

My father-in-law, with his eighty-eight years of experience refuses to trust them because for years he compared the picture on the screen with the summer view he experienced on his holidays.

Every year he would ring up from a caravan site in Cornwall to tell us that ‘it is glorious sunshine’ and for us not to believe the big black cloud depicted on the map just after the news that evening.

‘They just read it off a piece of paper’ he would say in his broad northern accent as if to imply that they knew nothing and were being fed lines.

I can always tell what he is going to say as soon as I answer the phone and here his very positive voice declaring ‘its sun shining here!’

I wonder if they need any eighty-eight year old weather forecasters.