‘Three may keep a secret ... if two of them are dead.’
These words from Benjamin Franklin sum up the delicious desire many people have when it comes to sharing gossip.
We’re all guilty of sharing someone else’s secret at some point.
As a journalist, being nosey comes with the territory, and I love hearing fascinating details about people’s lives and keeping up-to-date with what’s going on around the community.
My job might involve getting the news out there, but when it comes to keeping secrets, I’m actually very good at being trusted to keep things to myself and have I’ve been a confidante to many friends and fiercely guard their most private secrets.
Some loose-lipped folk can never be trusted with a secret as you know their tongue will soon be wagging.
But there are many people who are full of the greatest intentions to keep schtum but inadvertently let something slip and are left feeling red-faced and horrified at their faux pas.
However few drop a clanger in as spectacular style as Prue Leith did when she accidentally tweeted the winner of The Great British Bake Off 12 hours before the final aired.
Prue was mortified as fans accused her of ruining the show with her massive slip-up and people took to Twitter in their droves to mock her blunder.
Anyone who has committed the social gaffe of accidentally spoiling a surprise – albeit with less drastic repercussions – will feel more than a smattering of sympathy.
I loves surprises and don’t like knowing things before they happen.
I’ve never skipped to the last few pages of a murder mystery to see whodunnit no matter how tempting it is, and I hate being told the twist of a film or the ending of a TV series before I’ve had the chance to watch it.
A former colleague famously put her foot in it a few years ago when the then Prime Minister David Cameron visited our offices the day after the gripping finale of the first series of Broadchurch.
While chatting to my colleague, the PM mentioned Broadchurch and told her he didn’t want to know what happened yet. I don’t know if it was nerves but she rashly told him who the murderer was ruining his evening’s TV viewing in one fell swoop.
Surprise parties are also a source of contention when a blabbermouth gives the game away.
One friend was left riddled with guilt and shame when she totally forgot a baby shower she was attending was meant to be a surprise and she texted the mum-to-be asking what time she needed to be there.
Terrified she’d get lynched by the rest of her friends, she begged the woman not to tell anyone - and she gamely put on a “surprised face” and to this day, it’s their little secret.
And the digital age has made it more difficult to keep secrets and surprises.
But the best spilling of secrets come out of the mouths of babes.
I can still remember our son as a toddler excitedly saying: “Daddy, Daddy, we’ve got you a big chocolate cake for your birthday... but I’m not allowed to tell you because it’s a surprise!”