I have found out an interesting fact about Victor Meldrew, but you won’t believe it.

No sooner had I written about my consternation, last week, on discovering my rapidly approaching 60th birthday entitles me to a Senior Railcard, than my wife landed another bombshell.

While I was out on my bike, trying to turn back the tide of the advancing years, she was watching an old episode of One Foot in the Grave, in which it was revealed that the main character, Victor Meldrew, was 60 years old.

That’s right: the archetypal grumpy old man, whom you will even find described as ‘elderly’ on Google, took early retirement, and wasn’t even old enough for a bus pass.

What’s more: when he was first offered the part in 1989, actor Richard Wilson turned it down because he was only 53 at the time. And yet, if you listen to the lyrics of the theme tune, written and sung by Eric Idle, it paints a vivid picture of a decrepit old man, with references to being “an OAP and weak-kneed”, “clapped out, rundown, too old to save” and having “too many miles on the clock”.

Despite all this, my wife thinks it is hilarious that I am about to reach his age, and has even taken to calling me Victor Meldrew. That’s charming, considering he has made it into dictionaries, with Collins explaining that if you are a Victor Meldrew, you are a ‘middle-aged or elderly man, who is habitually peevish, pessimistic, and cynical’. Thanks.

But don’t believe everything you read, because both Meldrew’s creator David Renwick and Richard Wilson have pointed out that you are missing the point if you don’t realise Victor was actually “a normal man in a world full of idiots”.

Most of the humour comes from the fact that - apart from his wife, Margaret - Victor is always surrounded by characters who are much more simple-minded, unreasonable or hopelessly eccentric than he is. And that also makes it true-to-life, because when David Renwick killed off his character in 2000 by making him the victim of a hit-and-run accident, people actually placed bouquets of flowers at the location of the accident.They walk among us!

And if you think about it: who wouldn’t agree with most of the things that riled Victor?

They are usually the same things that would annoy any sane person: litter, junk mail, traffic, rudeness, snobbishness…And if he was around today and lived in Swindon, I am sure he would have something to say about potholes, how long roadworks take, the Oasis, and how much money is going to be wasted on a re-run of an already pointlessly politicised election of a police commissioner, when there are surely more important things to spend it on. But who would honestly say they would blame him?

So call me Victor Meldrew if you like, but he was seriously misunderstood - and right in the end. And you’d better believe it.