It’s Little Boots’ 7th birthday soon and I’ve bought a fishing rod as a present.

This is something of a gamble. It’s certainly not a gift that features in the comprehensive list of birthday booty that’s been complied, which mostly features games for the Wii and Lego. And Lego games for the Wii. But I think, at least I hope, there is flicker of interest there.

Occasionally I might watch a bit of one of the thousands of fishing programmes that saturate satellite television, but they are dreary and bore me; they are as like to the real thing as a faded, stuffed Victorian pike in a glass box is to a living “river shark”.

But there is one that LB was drawn to – Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters. Undoubtedly this was initially because of the presence of monsters in the title, but after the first programme there was a request for the rest to be series-linked. This may all be something to do with piranhas which hold a special fascination.

Whether the lurid dramas of exotic, toothy, piscine killers presented in bite-sized chunks on TV will translate into the enjoyment of sitting on a river bank steadily drowning a pint of maggots whilst being pointedly ignored by anything other than midges is a difficult question.

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