It was my Uncle Koos (short for Jacobus) who once gave me some valuable health advice. “My doctor told me that if I drink three beers a day, it will reduce the chance of me having a heart attack by 50%,” he advised. “So I drink six beers a day to eliminate the risk altogether.” Although he was not a doctor himself – Uncle Koos was a banker – it seemed reasonable enough, so I have done my best to follow his advice ever since. So imagine my delight when I saw the front page of the Daily Express today: “Red Wine Pill Stops Dementia”. As the youngsters say, get in!

I am certainly prepared to give this a go, but my preference would normally be to have a glass of the red stuff rather imbibe it in tablet form, particularly as a chunk of Stilton will always taste better when accompanied by wine.

However, it is always worth literally attaching a health warning to any story you read in the Express because in the very first paragraph the headline “stops dementia” is already watered down to read “can slow the progression of dementia”, which is slightly less encouraging. I have not seen subsequent paragraphs but I would not be at all surprised if by the end the Express admitted that a drop of the red stuff had absolutely no effect or that it even made things worse. The old adage that “you couldn’t make it up” does not apply to the Express where just about every story appears to be made up.

Given the thickness of my head when I first woke today after a glass or two of red last night, I do struggle to see its benefits to my brain, which has taken longer than usual to crank into gear, but in this instance I am prepared to give the Express story the benefit of the overwhelming doubts I have as to its authenticity. If all this stuff turns out to be true, I’d live to an old age, free of heart disease and dementia, albeit in a permanent state of drunkenness.