Cupid calling live on air

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JUST call this column ‘cupid’ - because your diarist is claiming (sort of, indirect) responsibility for one young couple getting engaged yesterday.


Well, it seems after this page featured Stuart Knowles last week, Radio Sheffield got in touch with the 25-year-old and asked him to appear on Rony Robinson’s show.

Stuart, regular readers may remember, is the self-trained welder who has found critical and commercial acclaim with the steel sculptures he made while fighting severe depression.

He and mum Mandy appeared on the wireless to talk about his experience. But they did it on the condition Stuart could ask girlfriend Allina Wright, from Doncaster, to marry him live on air.

She said yes. Stuart was left speechless. And Rony, presumably, is in the market for a new hat.

“I’m over the moon,” Stuart said afterwards. “It’s been one of the best weeks of my life.”

Course it has lad - you appeared in The Diary.

YOU have to doff your mortar board to Roger Mercer, don’t you?

He’s the retired lecturer who this summer graduated from the University of Sheffield after completing a new degree at the ripe old age of 79.

He likes reading. He likes learning. And he wasn’t going to let a small thing like being older than most students grandparents stop him from quenching his thirst for knowledge.

And bang on too.

Age is used all too often to stop perfectly capable people doing things they’re perfectly capable of - and I’m not just referring to Arlene Phillips being sacked from Strictly Come Dancing.

Yet surely this is a discrimination that’s just as bad as any other in society? Because, essentially, it’s judging someone on a material quality - a number - which makes no odds to anything.

“If you’re good enough, you’re young and ugly enough,” as my old Nana would say.

Or, as the chap in the Banker’s Draft put it while ordering a curry for the first time in 72 years: “Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I have to be old”.