We all have days at home from time to time, and how better to fill those quiet moments than with some quality daytime telly?
It’s true that typical daytime TV offers a different rhythm to prime-time, but let’s be clear: These are well-honed shows, with a format sure to pique your interest at any time of the day.
This Morning, 10:30am weekdays, ITV.
Here are our highlights from a day in the life of daytime TV.
Mornings can be news-heavy, but with back-to-back American comedy on Channel 4 (from 6:15am until 11:30am), you can kick off the day with classic episodes of Third Rock from the Sun, Frasier, The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons. If you’re after more typical daytime TV, you can theme your days around chat, game-shows, lifestyle and so much more.
It wouldn’t be Daytime TV without a ‘healthy’ dose of Jeremy Kyle (9:25am weekdays, ITV).
The show that allows us all to tut indulgently, while being quietly fascinated by the stories; probably for all the wrong reasons. Always provocative, and occasionally genuinely touching, Jeremy is king of (a certain kind of) variety, and never fails to make his guests into interesting TV.
Okay, we know 11 minutes of it is a bit much, but see how far you can get . . .
You probably want at least one cosy talk show in the mix, and ITV do these very well. There are several to choose from including: Lorraine, (8:30am weekdays, ITV), Loose Women (12:30pm weekdays, ITV), but for us, it’s got to be This Morning (10:30am Weekdays, ITV).
If we could hear their thoughts, This Morning would be going out well after the watershed, but thankfully we can’t, so it provides us with a never-ending stream of morning mischief. The feeling it might descend into laughter or chaos at any moment is enough to make it a compelling watch.
Here is just one example.
But if you prefer to nose around properties, want ideas for that pond you’ve been planning, or are perpetually worried about being conned, BBC One’s lifestyle shows can help you!
Garden Rescue (6:45am and 3:25pm most weekdays, BBC 1), Homes Under The Hammer (10am weekdays, BBC One), Fake Britain (11am weekdays, BBC One), and Bargain Hunt (12:15pm weekdays, BBC One) are but a few of the current offerings that feed our fascinations.
Our favourite of the bunch is Bargain Hunt. With its lively guest hosts, and a big bowlful of eccentric experts on hand to give advice to the ‘reds’ and ‘blues’ – what’s not to love? Will the teams make a profit on their antique purchases when they go to auction? Well . . . Often not, and this adds a delightful sprinkle of peril to an already interesting mix of features. Click here for a classic clip.
As the day progresses, the programmes become punchier.
If you’re a fan of soaps, Ozzy favourites Home and Away and Neighbours are back-to-back on Channel 5 (at 1:15pm and 1:45pm respectively). Meanwhile, BBC One has Red Rock (1:45pm), a new soap based around a busy Garda station set in a fictional town near Dublin.
If soaps aren’t your thing, what about a high-tension game-show, or back-to-back Come Dine With Me? Lunchtime offers a huge variety across the channels.
Channel 4’s Fifteen To One (2:10pm weekdays, Channel 4), is a notoriously tough quiz show presented by the brilliant Sandi Toksvig. Fifteen contestants compete in three rounds to make it through to the Grand Final at the end of each series.
Alternatively, BBC Two offers Pressure Pad (1pm most weekdays, BBC Two). Presented by John Barrowman, this high-energy show, with accumulative prize fund, sees contestants compete to get team-mates into the final to win the cash.
However, ITV seem to have the edge on current offerings, with both The Chase (4pm weekdays) and Tipping Point (5pm weekdays) among their most popular programmes.
The Chase sees Joe Public go head to head with a professional quizzer, the ‘chaser’, who competes to prevent them from winning.
Tipping Point is an arcade-inspired gameshow, where contestants answer questions correctly try and win £50 counters from a giant arcade machine. With a possible jackpot of £10,000, there is a lot to play for.
Or if you prefer, entertainment shows are dotted throughout the afternoon as well.
Judge Rinder (2pm weekdays, ITV), sees criminal barrister Robert Rinder resolve pithy financial feuds, and family and consumer disputes. His distinct authoritative, and often witty approach makes for some unmissable moments.
Psst: We hear a whisper that a small incentive to appear on the show is that the production company pays on behalf of the loser. Let’s all just stop paying our rent and join the queue to take part!
We all love Come Dine with Me (5pm weekdays, Channel 4, currently ‘Couples’ specials), in all its quirky variants. We know the producers group contestants who are likely to hate each other, but we don’t care. Dave Lamb’s pithy voiceovers are everything in a show where arrogance is as prominent as poor food choices. It’s inspired many of us to replicate the format with our friends, which isn’t something we can say of Judge Rinder or Jeremy Kyle.
We’ll leave you to find your own ideal combination, but one thing is clear: There is enough good daytime TV to see you to prime-time, whatever telly you love.