IN a sea of quite gritty dramas which have arrived in the aftermath of the new year was a programme this week which really gave me hope.

Scuttling upstairs to avoid actually speaking during a crucial moment in Star Trek Discovery (starring the lovely Jason Isaacs) returning after what the Americans call a “Mid-season hiatus”, I happened upon the School for Stammerers on ITV.

I am partial to a real-life documentary but of late all that seems to be on offer are ones about people giving birth, having huge families, living in squalor, being visited by bailiffs or suffering terrible injuries.

I realise this is all part of life’s rich tapestry but sometimes it can be a bit of a downer.

On top of that, much of the drama we are being offered is based on terrible and worrying social developments lurking outside our doors and sometimes I just want something to make me feel it is all worth while.

And what could be more life-affirming than seeing a group of people who struggle to carry out ordinary conversations due to their speech problems, overcoming them to the point they stood up in public and spoke to a crowded room ?

They were all taking part in a specially devised four day course run by a former stammerer.

Each of them was mentored by someone who themselves had overcome a similar impediment and the results were astounding.

Tony, a man in his late 50s, had basically arranged his life so he did not have to talk and if he did, he made sure others could do it for him.

Using the phone, for him and a large number of the others featured in the programme, was a major problem but they all overcame it.

I know we have been here before and there have been other documentaries which have shone a spotlight on this issue but it was humbling to see how much it had affected their lives.

Weddings were put on hold, careers modified and concerned parents of the two young boys who took part, wavered at the edges wondering what it would mean for their futures.

I’m not ashamed to admit I was properly blubbing by the end as they all showed just how far they had come.

Tony even dyed his hair and took part in a bit of stand-up comedy at his local working men’s club.

Documentaries don’t always have to be about plastic surgery, or historical events.

They can also be about the simple struggles that can have a massive impact on our lives.

Although, even without a stammer, Tony might be best to stick to his day job.