Working from home is sh*t. Without any colleagues to distract, I have been in utter despair. I am a Manx woman, I need skeet.
I can’t stand silence: if you know me, you’ll know I fill any silence with some inane comments. And if I had to fill the silence by verbalising my internal monologue, I’d go crazy: even I can’t handle that much Chess Bradley. Luckily, that torture is only hypothetical thanks to a brilliant invention: daytime TV.
We live in a time where TV has never been better. Big budgets, big stars: television is now on par with cinema. But this isn’t what I want to watch when I’m working: I don’t want to be distracted by nail-biting drama (and, I am sure, my boss doesn’t want me to either), I want to have mindless chatter soundtracking me as I do my very important work…
One of my favourite things about watching daytime TV while working is it gives you a funny feeling of being unemployed while being employed. It’s fantastic to get a little taste of what my retirement will be like, in 50 years’ time.
So the TV schedule looks a little bit like this. At 9am, I tune into the last quarter of an hour of BBC breakfast: a drier but calmer version of Good Morning Britain. It is then followed by Morning Live: BBC’s equivalent of Lorraine, except you don’t need to be menopausal to enjoy it. The content of the show is hardly exciting: its clips are literally One Show segment rejects. Despite this, the soothing Welsh tones of Gethin Jones are enough to get me through the first hour of the day.
This is then followed by Homes Under the Hammer: a show where entrepreneurial individuals buy cheap houses at auction, give it a splash of paint and whack in an Ikea kitchen and flip it for a profit of tens of thousands. It’ll either inspire you to invest in property or turn you into a Marxist. It’s compulsive watching, soundtracked with tunes that describe exactly what’s going on- a bit like how the Oompa Loompas sing about every single mishap in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Demolition occurs? Tubthumping by Chumbawumba. Dodgy electrics? Danger! High voltage by Electric Six. Fella buys a house without reading the legal pack or having a prior viewing? Rebel Rebel by David Bowie.
Having been sufficiently wound up by the state of the housing market, I am ready for the next show. Currently, it is ‘Frontline Fightback’, which is so shite it makes me long for the days when Jezza Kyle was on in the mornings. It is the replacement for a far better cop show, and my absolute guilty favourite: Crimewatch: Roadshow. I can’t explain why I enjoyed the show so much, but I reckon it’s because the wanted lineup reminds me of my tinder days. This is followed by Paramedics on the Scene, which follows Scottish ambulance crews go and help people in emergency situations- typically pensioners who have had a fall. It’s basically like an unfunny version of Still Game.
First fifteen mins of Bargain Hunt means time to prep lunch (even I don’t have the tolerance to watch people cut about a car boot sale) until I can change over to Channel 4 Steph’s Packed Lunch comes on. Is Steph’s packed lunch good? Hard to say, however, one episode did feature a nude Chris Kamara, so judge for yourself.
The afternoon drags a bit and television becomes the background noise, as I wait for tea-time quiz shows (undoubtedly one of the best parts of the day). Impossible, a quiz show that just lacked the quality to get the coveted dinner-time spot, is irritating; Escape to the Country is nice, but full of Tories; and while Rylan Clarke-Neale is a decent presenter, Ready Steady Cook is just not the same without Ainsley. It’s then time for the voyage over to ITV for Tipping Point– essentially the warm-up act for the big tea-time special: The Chase.
Does daytime cure my loneliness? Not quite. Will I miss it when I’m back in the office? Probably not. But is it getting me through this third lockdown? Absolutely.