'This Morning' with Mia Dolan
word of warning this is a longer commentary than usual. It
was also a lot more work. Anyway here goes, I hope you can
stay the course.
to her own website Mia Dolan is, “one of the
most sought-after psychics in the UK” Really? Well
we had better get her on tele then!
the years I’ve watched some pretty dire television
but I think I’d be hard pressed to find anything to compete
with the incredible bias shown of ITV’s 'This
The usual hosts Fern Britton and Philip Schofield are taking a
break and stewardship of the programme has been handed over to
Richard Bacon and Denise Van Outen.
seems for the last couple of weeks they have been testing Mia
Dolan who, to use her own words, is “taking part in an
experiment to prove that I am psychic.”
watched the programme and seen Mia demonstrating her abilities
my own assessment, based on the show, is that if she’s
psychic then the Pope’s Jewish. However the hosts Richard
and Denise seem to have an entirely different perspective. Both
were mightily impressed with Mia’s perceptive insights.
the show Richard Bacon said they were, “… putting
Mia’s psychic powers to the test.” Already I’m
going to allow myself to make a small pedantic point because this
sentence seems to illustrate the true intention behind the ‘test’;
surely its purpose is to establish if she
has psychic powers whereas Bacon’s phrase seems to assume
they already exist and that they are merely trying to find out
how good they are.
viewer is first treated to a recap where we see Mia’s “extraordinary
power” from the previous two weeks. Mia is in the studio
along with Bacon, Van Outen and the token sceptic psychologist
Dr David Lewis.
A woman (Emily) is shown on a screen and Mia is giving her a reading.
Dolan: “…aura colours are so sensitive, light
blues, we’ve got green, we’ve got pinks…”
on a minute! Why does no one ask how come she can see this woman’s ‘aura’ via a television screen? This
is surely a revelation worth exploring. It’s hard enough
to swallow that she can see this non-existent aura in real life
but via a camera? Please!
let’s let Mia continue….
“… and this means that in her childhood she had to
feel she would always do that bit more, you know, she will always
do 110%. She always feels she’s got to prove more than other
people…. So emotionally you’re going to be feeling
a little bit weird at the moment. Things are changing at the moment.”
Outen kindly elaborates: “So possibly quite sensitive.”
Bacon: “So what do you make of that?”
exactly is true and why, we are not told but to summarise, Emily
has been told that she feels the need to prove herself and she’s
feeling a little bit weird at the moment. Golly what insight.
do with your education, your career it’s
going to be a mixture between either media type like work….
Media, go in front of people. I’m also getting a lot of music
in the background as if music’s a big part of your life.”
the usual ambiguity. What does “media type” work
and “go in front of people” mean? Bear in mind that
this woman is very attractive (I have my wife’s permission
to say so) and she’s on television. So if she reads the local
news, it’s a hit. If she is in amateur dramatics, it’s
a hit. If she’s a bingo caller, it’s a hit. If she
plays the cello in a local string quartet that’s probably
a hit too. But here’s Emily’s response.
not involved with either music or media although I used to
play the piano.”
A new clip, this time to a woman called Wendy.
see loads of moving boxes, moving stuff around like it’s
all a bit chaotic. So have you been clearing something out
Possible things that might fit;
starting to move house or just moving in. Both packing or
unpacking would fit.
- Having a clear
out and taking stuff to the dump.
- Helping a friend or relative do
either of the above.
- She works is a warehouse with loads of boxes.
- She works at a removal
- She works in a charity shop.
sure you can think of many more. But here comes the wonderful
Already I like Wendy.
continues: “I’m seeing glasses going on so should
imagine they’re for reading glasses, because she hasn’t
got them on now. She’s not wearing them all the time. But
I’m definitely getting glasses put on.”
eh? There still a certain amount of equivocation in the phrase, “I’m
seeing glasses going on…” but
Outen helps increase the chances of a hit with, “Do
you wear glasses or contact lenses?” Who mentioned contact
good old Wendy replies, “No
I’ve got excellent
Mia produces still more, “Should
have been to the dentist in the last few weeks. I’m afraid the back of
the mouth , right at the back on the right hand side. If you’ve
not had a filling done recently that’s coming up.”
I’m aware that I do need one filling
but it’s not on the left hand side.”
Mia: “I said the right.”
it’s not the right hand side it’s
on the left hand side.”
DVO: “So does any of this sound right to you Wendy?"
Wendy: “I believe I probably opened my mouth a little
too wide and she saw a hole.”
Wendy has been straightforward with her replies and acknowledged
that the tooth comment was nearly right and Mia has done pretty
poorly by any standards. Firstly Mia was wrong about the “moving
boxes” then, despite being definite, she was wrong about
the glasses. Finally she mentions a back tooth (how many front
teeth are ever filled?) but gets the wrong side (no mention was
made whether this was a top or bottom tooth). And what’s
Denise Van Outen’s response?
cynical, cynical Wendy, ‘oo cynical.”
if Mia’s right it proves she’s psychic and if she’s
wrong it proves the sitter is cynical.
to the present we are live in the studio ready for today’s
RB: “I think, to be honest, I think Wendy was being
a bit unfair there.”
DVO: “I think she was being very unfair.”
gets promotion from “cynic” to “unfair”.
For what it’s worth Richard and Denise I think, “to
be honest”, you’re talking out of your arses. Wendy
replied honestly and was perfectly clear. Mia just screwed up.
(To psychologist Dr David Lewis): “David here, who
is our cynic. I mean she predicted the hole filling. How about
she didn’t, she guessed
and then it was only partly correct. All her other statements
were just plain wrong but, as becomes apparent, Bacon delights
I think if you throw enough rocks at the barn you’ll
hit the barn eventually.”
come on that’s
Lewis has now been labelled with the familiar Bacon/Van Outen
terms for those daring to cast doubt on the wondrous Mia, “cynic” and “unfair”.
But as ever Bacon is wrong and Dr Lewis is being entirely accurate,
which on this programme makes him somewhat unique.
me be absolutely clear, I would love Mia to prove her psychic
powers. I would love it because if would be a fantastic advance
for science. I don’t think she will and I can think
of a lot of reasons why she’s not going to, but let’s
Well said, and let me add that Dr Lewis remained a perfect gentlemen
throughout which, considering the provocation, was no mean feat.
next subject is another woman, Gerry from Redhill in Surrey,
(why are they all women?) who will be given this week’s
reading from Mia.
begins by once again performing the miracle of reading an aura
from a TV screen. She notices various colours, pinks, little
bits of grey, silver, and blue. Here’s Mia’s translation
of what this means;
Grey: “…is actually depression but apparently the
depression is moving away now. You’ve had a down time.”
You’ll notice that vagueness of the time frame here but
there’s also ambiguity with the term ‘depression’.
Is this clinical depression or just feeling a bit depressed like
I was watching this programme?
Pink: “…is just anxiety. There’s lots of things
going on. It could simply be because you’re on tele this
once again, especially, “lots of things going
It could be she’s on television or in fact anything in the
world. Is this what we can expect from, “one of the most
sought-after psychics in the UK”?
main colour is blue. And blue is the people person. It’s a dark blue and this means that you’ll be involved
in helping people. Your life will be a mission to do with people.
You’re very warm, you’re everyone’s agony aunt.”
you didn’t see the programme (lucky you) you won’t
know what Gerry looks like but she is clearly a very cheerful woman
with a bright smile. I’d put her age (apologies Gerry if
this is wrong) at around mid forties. She was very warm and charming
so this isn’t exactly very revealing information.
Silver: “…and the little bits of silver, even though
you’re actually cynical (she mentioned she was “open-minded
but sceptical” earlier) or shall we say on the fence
here. The silver means you have great intuition and gut instinct
so even though you maybe not believe in psychics, you often say, ‘Yeah
I had a feeling about that’ or ‘I don’t trust
that person very much’ or ‘I trust this person’ and
you’ll take your first impressions and go with it. But it’s
much better the terminology we use when we say gut instinct that’s
acceptable. If we say psychic perception that’s not. So I
think the language you use makes you feel more comfortable with
it. But you do have great intuition.”
Modesty forbids but to quote from my own Before
You See a Psychic,
favourite is, 'You're a very spiritual person yourself, quite
psychic in many ways. You should try to develop your powers.
You're certainly a very caring person.'"
Isn’t that more or less what she just said? Apart from being
pretty obvious and not very enlightening anyway, when stripped
to its bare bones it’s little more than a blatant attempt
Bacon steps in to see if the testing procedure has revealed Gerry
to be a cynic.
(to Gerry): “Have
you had a bit of depression that’s
I’m not a depressed person. I’ve
got a sunny personality. I wouldn’t… I mean almost
everybody goes through some periods of their life, but if you’re
talking way back… then.. then obviously a downtime but I’ve
never suffered from depression really.”
Outen sees a chink of light and descends further into farce, “So
going back a few years ago you had a time when you felt quite low
is that right?”
let’s just see where we
are now. We want to know if Gerry has ever felt a “quite low” at
anytime in her entire life. It beggars belief.
I had a tragic incident but I’m talking
many years ago.”
said the grey was on the edges and it’s a
very heavy situation, that’s very depressing, that’s
gone away. And you’re normal, you’re very people person.
You’re very bubbly.”
exactly what she said which, to save you going back to look,
was, “…actually depression but apparently the depression
is moving away now. You’ve had a down time.”
No “heavy situations” and
certainly not “very
sees his chance to totally misrepresent what has happened by
saying, “Look at
that… look unbelievable…unbelievable.”
Actually I take that back. I agree, it really is unbelievable.
Lewis: “Most people
go through bad periods of their life we all… it’s
a human condition. We all have bad periods.”
swats away any attempts to be rational with a dismissive and
very impolite, “Now
shut that… Gerry did anything
else tally (anything else?)? Mia talked about
anxiety, did she get anything right there?”
Gerry: “No, never.”
RB: “Not a single thing?”
ever remember feeling anxiety no."
you’re not very good with people. You don’t
help people with their problems?” Do I sense annoyance?
yes I try to, don’t we all?”
that small light at the end of a very black tunnel again. Van
Outen to the rescue, “So would you say you
are a bit of an agony aunt? A shoulder to cry on for friends?”
RB: “Right, that sounds to me like Mia got something
right there Gerry.”
not feeling anxious about appearing this morning on tele?”
Richard Bacon can’t quite swallow this one and points
out it wouldn’t be a very good prediction. Careful Richard
or Denise will start calling you a cynic.
Gerry then jokes that she was anxious about getting there because
she was stuck on the M25.
again displaying his finely honed skills of misinterpretation
Bacon proudly exclaims, “That’s
what she was on about, she was predicting a traffic condition.”
(To David Lewis): “David what do you make of that
A pile of crap? Sorry David over to you.
what to make of it. It would apply to 90% of the human race.”
excellent answer that concisely points out the ambiguity and
the sheer emptiness of Mia Dolan’s pathetic attempts at cold
reading – although David Lewis puts it much more charmingly
is quickly dismissed by Bacon who continues his obscurantism
by reinterpreting Mia’s waffle into a prediction about a
traffic jam on the M25. The good doctor’s remarks are brushed
aside with a feeble joke.
Richard Bacon yet again ignores the evidence of his own eyes
and ears in order to portray Mia’s pitiful performance
as something vaguely significant. Dr Lewis’s professional
opinion is left to whither on the vine whilst Mia’s constant
failed attempts to guess something, anything, correctly are elevated
in Bacon’s estimate to 50%. Bacon unbelievably says, “Gerry,
I think, let’s be honest here she got about 50/50 right so
far this morning.”
responds with a beautiful piece of ambiguity of her own by saying, “That
sounds fair doesn’t it.” It
might sound it but it isn’t.
is still more to this but I think the point has been adequately
made and I can’t
bear to sit through yet more of it.
This programme was an insult to Dr Lewis, to science generally
and to its viewers in particular. It seems ITV assume that all
they are interested in is mindless pap like this.
All I can suggest is that you switch off or switch over.