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Dirty TV secrets

Lynda Moyo asks, what do you watch when you're 'taking a break' from intelligent TV? We uncover some frightfully trashy TV habits in the Confidential office: tell us yours...

Written by . Published on May 20th 2009.

Dirty TV secrets

There's never anything on TV anymore. That's often our excuse for watching really poor shows on the box. Forget the reported dumbing down of television – the really bad stuff has to be searched for, and boy do we search for it. Thumb to remote, it's like sifting through a bin bag. There's a whole lot of filth for us TV tramps to wade through.

As with our dirty food secrets of last week, TV filth fulfills a specific craving. It allows us to express our most shameless and extreme emotions. For that hour or two of escapism, we're not ourselves. We're TV whores pandering to a cheap thrill.

Hollyoaks is the overall winner in the Confidential office. It helps us wind down from a day of work and enter the world of tediously dull, unrealistic, middle-class, pretty teen life. But why? “Because it's good to watch people whose lives are worse than yours,” says one worker.

And what better show to highlight that our lives aren't so bad after all, than lie detector veteran and hot head Jeremy Kyle with his chat show full of misguided inbreds. Not to mention that crabby old Judge Judy and her school mistress persona. It's some of the best TV fodder for our publisher and food critic who said: “All the scum that's in there – it's fantastic. I wouldn't like to be waking up next to her in the morning though. She can smell out a lie from 180 paces.”

As can contestants on another of our brain-dead TV favourites – Deal or No Deal. Despite a dislike for Noel Edmonds, the crafty banker and the rudimentary format of this compulsively needling show, we can't resist the 'will they, won't they' appeal of it. The 22 identical sealed red boxes and the possibility of winning £250,000, or perhaps just a miserable 1p, is TV muck magic. Other favourites include Katie and Peter: the next chapter (soon to be last chapter) and Snoop Dogg's Fatherhood because it's “obviously nothing like anybody else’s father/child relationship but compelling nonetheless.”

There's plenty more TV junk being digested around here, from the shameful to the random. I've been known to fall into the TV trance that is Quiz Call from time to time. It's broadcast on Channel Five after midnight when most people are either asleep or not watching Quiz Call. And a fellow writer who doesn't even own a telly tells me she “watched a bit of Hannah Montana on YouTube the other night. Just wanted to see what the fuss was about.”

We want to know what our readers watch behind closed doors. And by that we mean proper TV filth of the non-pornographic variety. Saying that, one anonymous trash telly addict in our office did admit to tuning in for “what us blokes call 'the ten minute Freeview' at midnight.” Each to his own.

Post your dirty TV secrets below. The filthiest wins a large potato to place next to you on your couch.

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38 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Too ashamedMay 20th 2009.

Without fail, the one thing the wife and I settle into week in week out on a sunday evening is The Hills on MTV. Massive guilty pleasure of the best "real life" TV show going.

east lancsMay 20th 2009.

I have to admit to having "Politics Night". Thursdays used to be ace; re-run of HIGNFY, then Question Time, Newsnight, before flipping over to BBC4 for The Thick Of It.

DigMay 20th 2009.

Shame on you all. Not one single mention of Lazytown.

saddoMay 20th 2009.

Has anyone seen Crowned. Now that i HATE!

lucky chrisMay 20th 2009.

And of course there's Shipwrecked. It's not watching it that bothers me... it's the fact I consider it unmissable...

treenypopsMay 20th 2009.

Aww i love coming in from a hard days graft and flippin between judge judy, simpsons and any crappy food contest type programme ie. come dine, britains best etc etc as the evening gets on i like the jordan and peter/ apprentice or relocation programmes... arghh Im a really bad tele addict.... it does stop any conversation happening between my boyfriend and I which I know is terrible... I wil start in rehab one day soon ..

cleoMay 20th 2009.

i love the shopping channel, but only the homewares section. i can't help but watch those magical potato peelers that can julienne a pineapple or the car wax that turns your car into a porsche....

whatsoeverMay 20th 2009.

Can't believe no-one's mentioned Gossip Girl yet, it's amazing(ly bad yet good)!

callsignponyMay 20th 2009.

OMG where to begin! Katie and Peter, Stylista on Fiver (Just like the Devil wears Prada!!), Coach Trip, The Chopping Block (US Marco Pierre White version of Hell's Kitchen), Benidorm, The Kyle (I can only watch one at a time tho now, my tolerance levels are at their lowest), Hogan Knows Best, Brook Knows Best, The Pussycat Dolls present... Girlicious!, Don't Tell The Bride, Spendaholics... where do I stop?! BTW, Come Dine is clearly not a dirty TV secret, it is TV genius. As are The Restaurant, The Apprentice, and all versions of Masterchef. End Of.

Mr PorterMay 20th 2009.

I'm partial to In The Night Garden. I used to watch it with my baby girl, but now she crawls around the front room ignoring it while I sit there transfixed by Derek Jacobi's lilting tones. I've even learned how to play the theme tune on her little xylophone. Anyway, must go - Igglepiggle's not in bed...

Castlefield TooMay 20th 2009.

Some of the programmes listed on here aren’t really dirty secrets at all. The likes of DINE and SHOWDOWN have offered some real gem-like snippets such as the two children, the little blonde girls, who relished their surprising holiday in the desert away from the snooty family who’d deserted them. Politics on a Thursday night is good too, particularly with Diane Abbott and Michael Portillo enjoying one another’s company so much. While I enjoy an occasional wallow in nonsense, one programme was really depressing. That hotel heiress, the one named after a classy city, was looking for a new ‘British Best Friend’ and a gaggle of young British women were taking it seriously, relishing her praise when they ‘bravely embraced the makeover’. Sad.

rosieMay 20th 2009.

the maury show.you gotta love a programme with titles such as "18th man tested-will we ever find latiqua's baby daddy?"

BenMay 20th 2009.

The best television to come out of America in the past year is Dollhouse! Some may know it as it's just started on Sci Fi over here - amazing concept and just gets better throughout the season! Recommend to anyone who's after intelligent viewing and interesting plot twists

Tyra BanksMay 20th 2009.

Can't believe no-one's mentioned Americas/Britains Next Top Model yet! The American version is better simply because they're so mich better at bitching than the Brits! And failing that endless reruns of Sex and the City!

SaddoMay 20th 2009.

I've seen cheaters! It's so good.

KatyMay 20th 2009.

have a habit of watching 'embarassing illnesses' just to make feel better really and see what is going on in that freaky world out there! Also I have started watching snog, marry, avoid - just to see what they look like after the makeovers - fabulous!! My sister watches without fail and even tapes it if she misses it - Jeremy Kyle - just to see what the chavs are up to!!

lucky chrisMay 20th 2009.

There's nothing better than Takeshi's Castle when there's jack-all on at daft o'clock. I wish I could apply to go on that show!

DescartesMay 20th 2009.

Emma, come dine with me is amazing. That said, the new series is a bit annoying as they seem to be purposely putting people together that won't get on, but I still love it. Confidential should have a dinner club, just sayin'.

CastlefieldMay 20th 2009.

I love holiday showdown too saddo!

BoredofitallMay 20th 2009.

Come Dine with me is NOT trash, you get some good recipes off there...!Judge Judy, Maury, all kinds of Amerrican trash chat shows.By the way, has anyone seen Cheaters? Bizarre but compelling viewing. Obviously whilst University Challenge is off screen I have to find a way to amuse myself!!

emma graceMay 20th 2009.

Come Dine With Me...and I'm not ashamed!

DidsburyGirlMay 20th 2009.

Oh! And I forgot Don't Tell the Bride, A favourite of mine and my housemates!And my Boyfriend is also addicted to the shopping channels, I swear one day i will come home and he will have bought a £300 kitchen knife set

ShameMay 20th 2009.

When drunk, I buy things from the shopping channels.

CastlefieldMay 20th 2009.

Dirty Sexy Money! It's great. And I can't function unless there's a 24 hour news channel nearby.

JennMay 20th 2009.

Snog, Marry, Avoid...a programme that could only appeal to me more if they got rid of Jenny Frost!

Runner DMay 20th 2009.

I work for The Jeremy Kyle show securing guests. I travel to different Farmfoods and Bargain Booze stores around the UK with my trusty tranquilizer gun and net.

stejaskiMay 20th 2009.

Apart from Americas Next Top Model (NOT the British one-Lisa who?) we LOVE Extreme Makeover House edition. Play a drinking game based on the first time the lucky family say how "blessed" they are, or Sears product placements, two drinks if they collapse when the see the finished mansion....its FANTASTIC!! And Most Haunted of course!

Tapas PrincessMay 20th 2009.

Oh the shame but when I have a few hours spare (and trust me, you will watch this for hours as its mesmerising...), I watch the Create and Craft shopping channel (671 on sky). As much as I thought I was cool and hip, I'm obviously not as the lure of rainbow coloured paper and glitter stamping pads keep me enthralled for hours, its like TV crack!!!!!! Now I have to wash as I feel dirty......

MonicaMay 20th 2009.

Justin and Colin's 'How Not To Decorate'..... enough said!

DidsburyGirlMay 20th 2009.

How can I forget Americas Next Top Model?!? Myself and a friend are OBSESSED.....maybe I just don't see it as dirty Tv...Hmmmmmmmm :/

emma graceMay 20th 2009.

I wanted to smack that girl on Come Dine With Me last night right in the chops.....

CastlefieldMay 20th 2009.

Why is it that at all times on some channel 'a place in the sun' is on, and once you start watching you end up watching 3 in a row! It's not fair though as it gets you all convinced you can get a holiday home in the Sotuh of France for 60,000 and then the credits roll and you see it was filmed in 1998!

SaddoMay 20th 2009.

Grand Designs, Holiday Showdown, Emmerdale, Richard Hammond's 'Should I worry about...', Super Sweet Sixteen, MADE, Jeremy Kyle, Montel Williams Show, Mock the Week... the list goes onn and onnn and on and on

LouMay 20th 2009.

Oh my god! I LOVE The Pussycat Dolls present... Girlicious!It is the best but worst TV ever! After being addicted the the next pussycat doll I was most happy when this came on.

emma graceMay 20th 2009.

I used to love Ready, Steady, Cook. The thrill of seeing the chefs turn a carrier bag of smoked mackerel, tinned dates, cauliflower, vanilla extract and marzipan into a plausible (sometimes) dinner used to have me glued to the screen. I remember once, there was a contestant called Bob who brought in some frozen peas and Fern said (probably the funniest line of her career) "I'll have a P please Bob!". Ah genius.

Real Stretis CFMay 20th 2009.

Nothing can beat Hollyoaks; pure 'brain out' TV. I love it; you can feel your IQ declining as you watch it.

DidsburyGirlMay 20th 2009.

Oh god! Im the queen of bad TV! My Super Sweet Sixteen, Katie & Peter, The E true Hollywood Story, Girls of the Playboy Mansion, Come Dine With Me, The Hills, DIY SOS, theres just something so satisfying about watching pure entertainment to chill out, something you don't have to think about and can just let your brain turn (temporarily) to mush.......But At the end of the day I always come back to my beloved Six Feet Under and Mighty Boosh Box Sets...

RayMay 20th 2009.

Everybody loves Raymond - even on my day off I have to get up at 7.30am so as not to miss it!...and Ive got the dvd box set.

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