For the last couple of months, I've been loathe to turn on the TV news channels for fear of being further depressed by yet another barrage of depressing financial meltdown news.
Note to CNN and BBC news editors: We get it. The world's going to hell in a handbasket. Move on already. If I am forced to watch one more besuited, newsreading automaton whip themselves into a faux frenzy about how a tumbling stock market means the end of the world is nigh, I am going to top myself.
So it was with some trepidation that I shifted my TV news viewing alliances to the French TV news channels - fully expecting that, true to French form, the French newscasts would be reveling in the misery (for a nation that has so much going for it, and so much to rejoice, it never ceases to amaze me how collectively morose the French can often be).
But after a week or so of trawling the French TV news bulletins, I discovered that while the TV news cloud hanging over France might be as grey and foreboding as everywhere else, at least it has a shiny silver (or rather, a platinum blonde) lining.
Ladies and gentlemen of my overseas blog readership - I give you Laurence Ferrari. The souped-up, go-faster, shiny, racing-stripe, flashy model of a modern TV newsreader.
Ms Ferrari was embroiled in somewhat of a scandale last year when she was parachuted into France's highest profile newsreading gig - the evening news bulletin on the main commercial channel, TF1.
Her elevation to this plum post resulted in the incumbent, Patrick Poivre d'Arvor being put out to newsreader pasture, and was apparently only coincidentally linked to the fact Ms Ferrari had spent the latter part of 2007 dating French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
And so Laurence sits in my living room every night, pouting her way through the troubles of the world. A perfectly positioned beauty spot atop her lip, a pair of brown eyes that seem to hypnotise, a voice whose timbre hovers somewhere between come-hither husky and supremely bored. It's incredibly sexy.
And so now each night, I find myself watching the world crumble, the markets crash, the environment dwindle with a misty-eyed stare and stupid grin.
Do I want the good news or the bad news? As long as Laurence is reading it, I don't much care.