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TV Review: Daytime TV. All Of It.

Simon Binns would rather die than be off sick

Written by . Published on January 19th 2012.

TV Review: Daytime TV. All Of It.

I'VE BEEN off work sick during the last two weeks.

I've had some sort of lymphatic flu, which involved my head swelling up to the size of a prize-winning marrow for five days before being hit by another five days of extreme sickness, fever and general badness.

As it was, I couldn't get out of bed for the best part of a week, and all I could eat were ice pops.

And to make it worse, I was locked in a losing battle with daytime TV.

In between all of these things are insufferable adverts. Car insurance. Yoghurt. Things to stop you pissing yourself in public. It's torture.

Essentially, daytime TV is a way of slowly engendering suicidal thoughts in shift workers, the jobless and stay at home mums. It is designed to make you take out payday loans at 3,000 per cent APR before stocking up on pasta sauce and logging on to ebloodyHarmony.

I couldn't open my eyes before 11am, but when I did, I was greeted by The Wright Stuff on Channel 5.

The plasticine-faced host and part-time celebrity botherer alternates between saying something poignant with something stupid, gurning at the camera and waving the Daily Mail about at Jamelia or somebody, all scattered with cheeky but utterly meaningless references to John Leslie.

The Wright Stuff's Plasticine-Faced Host And Part-Time Celebrity BothererThe Wright Stuff's Plasticine-Faced Host And Part-Time Celebrity Botherer

That's followed by a live addendum hosted by Gabby Logan. It's called Live With Gabby (C5) and is of absolutely no value. I saw a segment where Gabby was telling somebody that crisps, biscuits and sweets actually contained loads of calories and you should probably eat fruit instead.

You could flick over to Wanted Down Under (BBC1), where a family of slack-jawed halfwits try and choose between staying in their two bedroom oil tank in Osmotherley or upping sticks to the golden beaches of Bondai.

It's essentially a way of getting a free holiday to Australia out of the BBC and is possibly the greatest wheeze on the planet. One family were totally lacking in the skills and money to afford a park bench in Sydney, yet the Beeb whipped them off there anyway. Amazingly, they stayed in Fife. "We don't take risks," said Daddy Slackjaw.

Next up is Homes Under The Hammer (BBC1), where a parade of idiots buy a vast array of council estate shitholes at auction only to watch them fall down in front of their eyes as they put the key in the front door.

The programme makers go back to the buyers six months after the purchase, to see how they've transformed the property. Invariably, they've done bugger all. In one episode I saw, a man actually bought a field for £43,000 then sold it again for £40,000, concluding that it "wasn't that bad a deal really."

How about A Place in the Sun: Home or Away? (Channel 4). Two lesbians want to start a life-coaching business. But do they want to start it in the rain-sodden hills of Wales or the celestial surroundings of Southern Spain? Erm, Spain, obviously. Because it's like, miles better. This shouldn't really take an hour.

Blah, blah, This Morning, blah, blah news.

Doctors (BBC1). Ironically, this programme made me feel more ill. It's a soap opera about the lives of ordinary yet massively boring people who work in a small town health centre. Nothing happens. Nothing. One seven minute scene concentrated on two people discussing an Excel spreadsheet.

Over on the Good Food Channel, The Hairy Bikers loll about the fields of England cooking and shouting. I'd like the Hairy Bikers more if they never said anything ever.

The Hairy Bikers loll about the fields of England cooking and shoutingThe Hairy Bikers loll about the fields of England cooking and shouting

I do not, will not, and simply cannot watch Loose Women (ITV1), the televisual equivalent of setting up a camera outside Bookbinders at 3am. Over on Sky Sports News, there's a punishing six-minute news item about a cricketer who has hurt his foot but not too badly so that's ok then.

BBC 1's Deadly 360 is actually brilliant. Sharks and that.

Over on E4/More4/WhatFor there's invariably a repeat of Come Dine With Me on, or Jamie's 30 Minute Meals That Really Take At Least An Hour.

In between all of these things are insufferable adverts. Car insurance. Yoghurt. Things to stop you pissing yourself in public. It's torture.

And so it goes on. Days become weeks until you lose yourself in a blur or self pity and despair.

I'm better now and back at work, thankfully. But I've still got a nagging feeling.

I wonder what happened with that spreadsheet.

Follow Simon on Twitter @simonbinns

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