ET, are you really out there?
My first experience of alien life-forms came at the cinema aged five, when my Old Man took me to see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, one of the finest blockbusters ever made.
Even today, some 37 years on, I am still deeply moved by the bond between the wrinkly visitor from outer space and his schoolboy saviour Elliot. There wasn’t a pre-teen on the planet in the ‘80s who didn’t want to hide a 3ft spaceman in their walk-in wardrobe. I was no different and, try as I might, I never did manage to get my Raleigh Grifter to take off into the moonlight - not once.
My obsession with the unexplained was no different to anybody else who was too young to have a girlfriend or have any other distraction in their lives for that matter.
Back then, it seemed perfectly feasible to me that the endless Universe was home to other life-forms and that it would not be long before we were all transported to another dimension, where we would be forced to wear smart, Buck Rogers-esque uniforms, while reading the minds of others.
But then I grew up and stopped dreaming about women-only planets and little green men and focused on passing exams, paying bills and what I would be cooking for dinner that evening.
That certainly isn’t the case for lots of grown-ups as there is a vibrant community of believers who refuse to accept that us Earthlings are on our own.
One of my first assignments as a student journalist was to visit a UFO fanatic in North Yorkshire who, although he was a middle-aged man who still lived with his mum, was an utterly convincing advocate for the theory that there is life ‘out there’.
My theory is straightforward - if there really are such a thing as aliens, they have taken one look at world leaders such as Trump and our own beleaguered Mrs May, at the same time as logging on to the mind-sapping insanity that is social media, and decided that there is very little point in them making contact.
I wish they would - I need beaming up from the day-to-day madness that is Planet Earth.