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In Psychic Academy, six members of the public are taught to talk to the dead. It's obvious tosh—and adroit programming

How do we deal with a surfeit of choice? By narrowing down our selection to the comfort of around seven favourites from which we rarely stray. Thus we typically cook no more than about seven recipes. We usually buy goods in six or seven shops. And we tend to watch no more than seven television channels from the hundreds on offer (not to mention BBC iPlayer, 4OD, and the US online video service, Hulu, shortly to launch here). But while our normal channels are playing summer repeats (Waking the Dead on BBC1, Diana Dors and Kenny Everett documentaries on…

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