Great find. I agree that would be way more interesting than Big Brother.
Okay, help out a yank who's a bit confused. What exactly is a smokeless zone? I know what it would mean in the US (an area your not allowed to smoke in), but I doubt the British have banned people smoking in their own homes (though there are some over here who'd like to do it).And why would watching rats give you something to do? Couldn't you do like the good doctor and his wife and watch the telly? Read a book? Listen to the radio? Enquiring minds want to know.
Smokeless zones came into force in the 50s in the UK as a means of reducing smog caused by the many coal fires in use, which was a major problem and perceived health risk. They encouraged people to move to gas and electricity as other means of heating/cooking. Can't say why watching mice would constitute major entertainment, though... Unless they formed a mouse circus or something.
Thank you. And now I've got visions in my head of a mouse circus, comoplete with a ringmaster wearing a tiny top hat and a moustache.