7 Reasons Why You Need New Tricks In Your Life

Did you know New Tricks can actually improve your life? Here are some of the essential lessons it teaches us…

New Tricks

1. USE LATERAL THINKING

When the most cherished things let you down, your initial reaction may be to yell at the top of your voice and terrify any old people and kids in the vicinity, as Brian did when his beloved library got too noisy for his liking. But you know what? Even Brian - even stubborn old stick-in-the-mud Brian - learnt to go with the situation and come up with a practical solution using lateral thinking. Instead of the library, he accessed his favourite books on the Internet instead. Brian! On the Internet! It's like a badger learning to use an espresso machine. An inspiration to us all.

2. BECOME HEALTHIER

It's far too easy to neglect your health. But New Tricks reminds us that friends can come in very handy when you're trying to improve your mind and body. This is why Gerry asked Sandra to be his "fag buddy". Which sounds like a bizarre public school ritual, but he was just imploring Sandra to help him quit cigarettes. Later, when she found him puffing away on a cigar, because "I felt so ill, honestly I couldn't bear it", she grabbed the offending smoke and crushed it under her shoe, saying "Bear it." Ruining your few remaining pleasures for the sake of your health: that's what friends are for.

Dennis Waterman on New Tricks

3. AGE (DIS)GRACEFULLY

Aging isn't fun, unless - like Gerry Standing - you have "always had a thing for older women". ("Now there aren't any," was Sandra's retort.) But there's no reason to shuffle meekly into your twilight years. You can follow in Gerry's footsteps and retain your youthful zest for life by flirting outrageously with people who are totally out of your league, playing computer games (he likes a spot of Football Manager, does Gerry), or bringing up sex and bodily functions for no good reason while in conversation with your boss. On second thoughts, don't ever do that.

4. EAT NEW THINGS

We're a nation of foodies, don't you know. So if you're so unadventurous that splashing some Tabasco on your baked beans counts as a culinary experiment, then remember how Gerry took Sandra, Jack and Brian to a London pie and mash shop to sample the jellied eels. "Come on," Gerry said to Jack, "you're a man of the world." To which Jack replied, "It doesn't like this is of this world." Brian was also perturbed, saying "I don't eat food that wobbles." Sandra tucked in, though. Be more Sandra.

The origial cast of New Tricks: James Bolam as Jack Halford, Amanda Redman as Sandra Pullen, Dennis Waterman as Gerry Standing and Alun Armstrong as Brian Lane

The origial cast of New Tricks: James Bolam as Jack Halford, Amanda Redman as Sandra Pullen, Dennis Waterman as Gerry Standing and Alun Armstrong as Brian Lane

5. DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF

People these days, eh? They're either broadcasting their woes on the social media, or seeking a specialist therapist to help cope with their biscuit addiction. It's become far too fashionable to make a mountain out of every emotional molehill. So next time you're tempted to wallow in melancholy for an entire week, remember the wise ruminations of the philosopher Gerry Standing: "If you were depressed, you had a swift drink and got on with it. Not like today - you can't move in here without someone sending you to a bleeding counsellor." Good luck to any counsellor dealing with Gerry Standing.

6. BE GOOD TO YOUR IN-LAWS

No man or woman may be good enough for your darling offspring. But you've just got to accept their choices sometimes, or you'll end up like Gerry who massively disapproved of his prospective son-in-law because he was a solicitor. According to Gerry, solicitors and coppers are like cats and dogs - they just don't get on. But daughter Caitlin wasn't having any of it, threatening to ban Gerry from her wedding. "But I'm giving you away," Gerry protested. "No, dad. You're throwing me away." Ouch.

7. SURVIVE AT ALL COSTS

When you're in a dire situation, cut off from civilization and chilled to the bone, you've got to do whatever it takes to survive. Never mind Bear Grylls and Ray Mears, our real tutors in this subject are Brian and Gerry. While trapped in a shipping container they were in danger of freezing to death, until Brian had the bright idea of getting close. Really, really close, to share their body heat. "Yeah, alright," said a rattled Gerry. "But no forking." Brian: "You mean spooning." Gerry: "That and all."