Now that much of the population will be joining me in spending all day with their arses parked on the settee thanks to C-C-C-Covid19, 19. I thought I’d welcome you to ‘the lifestyle’ by digging out this blog post from 2011 [That’s nine years ago, passage of time fans].
It’s remarkable how little the daytime TV schedules have changed in that time, but there is one notable new show; Money For Nothing. I could not love this show more if I had actually given birth to it. Originally, I wrote screeds about every sparkling aspect of this wonderful show, but on reflection it’d be better to let you uncover each delicate layer of its beauty for yourself. Call me when you manage to peel your lower jaw off the floor.
It’s usually on BBC1 about 3 or 4pm, but at the moment, Boris Johnson is having his press conferences at that time, the thoughtless bag of stale air that he is. No doubt it’ll be on iPlayer and Netflix too.
Now let’s invoke the wiggly lines indicative the universe over of time travel, and go back to a kinder, gentler, less pandemic-y time of 2011…..
(Oh and before you ask, yes I will let you know what has happened since I finished chemo. Mañana, mañana.)
If you’re about to go on maternity leave, become a stay at home parent or are in any way tempted to slob on the settee all day with the telly on, then here is your handy cut out and keep guide to daytime TV.
Time: up to 9am
Show: Early things that are on too early
Notable for: Nothing really. It’s too damn early to be trying to focus your eyes, and there may be other demands on your time such as children wanting breakfast who selfishly keep you away from attempting to watch the telly.
Show: Jeremy Kyle
Notable for: people shouting. As a parent, your life is one big round of short people shouting at you. You really don’t need to spend time voluntarily watching normal height people shouting. Switch over to:
Show: Interchangable Time Filler (e.g. The Heir Hunters, Wanted Down Under)
Notable for: wondering why, by whom and for whom these programmes are made. E.g. in Wanted Down Under, a plumber goes to Australia to see if he’d like to be a plumber there. It turns out that plumbing in Australia is, unsurprisingly, much the same as plumbing in the UK. The end. With Heir Hunters, we see some entirely unremarkable people tapping on a computer and then driving round, lost. The end. It is exactly like going to work, crossed with a Pound Shop version of Who Do You Think You Are.
Both programmes attempt to make you cry at some point. WDU by showing a video of the plumber’s nanna saying she doesn’t want him to move to Australia and HH by delving into the isolated and loveless lives of the intestate. If you’re planning to get pregnant, why not track your monthly hormonal cycle by seeing if it does make you cry each day? A useful tip.
Show: Homes Under The Hammer
Notable for: everything. The glittering jewel in the daytime telly firmament, Homes Under the Hammer is a work of towering genius. Martin & Lucy, our property gurus find some houses being sold at auction, then have a look at them before and after they’re bought. It would be nothing special at all if it weren’t for the music. Each segment is accompanied by a couple of songs in the background. These songs are chosen by someone so terrifying literal that you have to wonder just how they cope in a world full of metaphor and subtlety. For example, the voiceover describes how a seller is unlikely to achieve the asking price he needs for a property is accompanied by ‘Just Can’t Get Enough‘ by Depeche Mode. We see a bungalow with no stairs, meaning you have to climb up a ladder to the roof space. We hear ‘Up the Ladder to the Roof‘ by The Supremes. Maximum points are scored for songs where the title and first line echo precisely what the voiceover has just said. Every episode offers a multitude of such gems, including my all time favourite – an unfortunate property buyer who set her own hair alight during renovations. Her sad tale was accompanied by this.
Show: Interchangeable Half Hour Long Property Show e.g. nope, sorry, I can’t remember any of the names.
Notable for: not being Homes Under the Hammer. We’re on the start of a downward slide.
Time: 11.30 – 12.30
Show: Interchangeable Antiques-Based Horror. e.g. Cash In the Attic, Bargain Hunt.
Notable for: being presented by one of the Three Patronising Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, Jennie Bond, Angela Rippon or Gloria Hunniford, or the Somewhat Creep and Distasteful Gent of Late Middle Age, Tim Wannacot. By now, the attraction of a job outside the home, where you can’t watch telly is becoming obvious. These shows try to tempt us with excited teasers of the big money participants make at auction. If anyone ever bags more than £3.68, I’ll eat my hat.
Notable for: the dead zone. There is literally nothing on. This is the point during the day when the risk of having to get off your arse and do something else is highest. Be careful.
Show: ITV’s Desperate Interchangeable Attempt to Recreate C4′s success with Come Dine With Me or Property Ladder (e.g. House Gift, May The Best House Win, 60 Minute Makeover)
Notable for: being so rubbish you actually feel sorry for everyone involved. 60 Minute Makeover is by far the worst offender. Some of the makeover results have to be seen to be believed. The poor homeowners bravely try to hold back the tears as they see how comprehensively their home has been trashed in one short hour. The interior designers involved live by the strict maxims “if there’s room to breathe, there’s room for another half a ton of chintz and bling” and “why use a nice colour when putrid lime green is available.” Any space to walk round furniture is considered a heinous waste. If you ever see the 60MM team pulling up in your street, change the locks and call the police. Have a cup of tea to help your eyes recover.
Channel: Channel 4
Notable for: old people, geeks and Rachel. I’m slightly obsessed with Rachel’s wardrobe. She replaced Carol Vorderman after she left to…. erm, do something else. Rachel is 25. She’s bright, personable and pretty. She has an great figure and could carry off just about any outfit she chose, but she insists on dressing either like the Queen Mother or a hooker. She literally has no middle ground. It’s either chiffon pussy bows and Scottie dog jumpers or leather minis and chains. Ignore all the numbers and letters gubbins and marvel at Rachel’s wardrobe. Amazingly, whilst searching for pictures of Rachel’s fashion crimes, it was a lot easier to find pictures of Rachel in her short tight numbers than in her Queen Mum get up. She also has some pretty disturbing fans. The internet, eh? Who’d have thought it?
Channel: Channel 4
Show: Deal or No Deal
Notable for: Noel Edmond’s mascara. You know Deal or No Deal. You know how it works and that it’s not especially interesting. What you may have missed are the increasingly frequent, special dressing up weeks. Initially, they were tied to significant annual events, such as Christmas. Noel and all the contestants are kitted out in themed costumes. As these events become more regular and more spurious (Mad Hatters week, anyone?), it has become more obvious that these weeks are nothing more than an elaborate excuse for Noel to wear a full face of slap and indulge in some self important pomp. Full drag can’t be too far away. Interesting, as a psychologist may say.
[Edit: Within weeks of originally writing this post, Noel did indeed find a way to wear full drag as the Headmistress in the End of Term dress up week. See? SEE? Vindication is a beautiful thing.]
Time: 5pm onwards.
You’re on your own now, you’ll have to think up your own excuses for what you’ve been doing all day.