Pick of the news

Is daytime TV better than evenings?

Perhaps it’s just me but increasingly I’m finding programmes on during the day a lot more interesting than those scheduled for ‘peak time’ viewing in the evening. Pick of the news

As someone who works full-time I’m not able to actually tune in during the day – but with catch-up available on my laptop I simply watch those programmes I’ve missed at night. And more and more I’m finding virtually all my TV viewing is on those daytime TV shows…

Come Dine with me – a cult show with a huge following – is currently on at 5.30pm every day. Yes there is another shorter version, which seems to air on a Sunday evening – but that one can’t beat the five diners (where one dinner is shown each night Monday to Friday.) Come Dine with Me never fails to entertain because you never know what to expect – and despite all the new shows that come and go, the concept has stood the test of time.

Before that at 5pm is the amazingly funny and bizarrely fascinating Four in a Bed. This is where four bed and breakfast owners each stay in one another’s places and then pay what they feel it’s worth. Some owners go to extraordinary lengths to find dust at a rival’s B&B, others own the most amazing places and charge far more than a five star hotel for one night. I am not sure if it’s an honour to win the accolade of Best B&B or not (the ones who get the highest percentage of their bill paid) – as sometimes a couple that has just indulged in pure skulduggery will walk off with it.

In both of these Channel 4 shows there’s always the chance dinner guests or B&B owners will clash with one another and have a row, a misunderstanding or get on in a way that is sometimes very moving – all very satisfying for the viewer.

Then there is the ubiquitous Homes under the Hammer. This BBC show follows three people who purchase a property at auction asking why they are buying it. They then go back – thankfully within the same show and there’s no boring parts where you have to watch builders actually doing the work – and see what they have done with it and crucially how much money have they made?

Broadcast around 10am weekdays, it’s a show that has apparently been going for years but has passed me by until catch up – and now I find I can’t get enough of these stories from these property purchasers. Some people buy a home to live in, others are property developers with huge portfolios, some are couples looking to invest in a property as a pension. All life and its real-life stories can be found on Homes under the Hammer.

My only criticism is it is hampered by some awful cheesy snippets of music (the presenter says ‘this old house’ and ‘this old house’ music snippet chimes in) – and the likeable presenters are sometimes out of breath with enthusiasm. But ultimately there is a feel-good factor that makes this show a must-see.

Another daytime show is Wanted Down Under. This is on at around 9.15am, and takes a family in the UK who are thinking of emigrating for a better life.

Crucially one side of the couple – who always have children – doesn’t want to leave the UK and the other does. The BBC then takes them to see the sort of houses their money could buy in Australia or New Zealand, sets them up with an interview with someone who could offer them jobs and gives them an idea of living costs. For example they work out whether living in Australia or New Zealand would be more costly than the UK or cheaper.

At the end – just as everyone is getting enthusiastic to move – they then show webcams from home where relatives say how much they will miss them.

I haven’t seen a show yet where any family has chosen to stay in the UK – but for me, watching the show has made me realise I wouldn’t want to move down under.

For a start, even homes shown to a couple with a £1millon budget were nothing special (property has recently risen in value down under, says the programme) it seems a myth that Australians and New Zealanders don’t work as long hours as we do in the UK, and their cost of living often works out higher.

They do have the weather advantage but as moving to Australia or New Zealand might mean you will never see some of your relatives again, I do wonder if some of these families might move somewhere in Europe – where it is sunnier than the UK, homes are actually cheaper and the cost of living is cheaper as well. Not to mention a cheap flight on a plane means you won’t be saying goodbye to British friends and family forever…

Whatever, it seems a shame that this interesting programme is shunted into what can hardly be peak viewing time!

Meanwhile evening telly trundles on in the same predictable and miserable way – fine if you love soaps (which I don’t watch), badly acted telly dramas, serious investigations (I like to relax) and weight loss programmes (Supersize V Superskinny and Embarrassing Bodies, the tedious likes of which we have all seen time and again and which offers nothing new.) Of course there’s the odd evening gem – regular readers of this blog will know I love Dragon’s Den, Location Location Location and the Apprentice when they’re on – but otherwise evening TV offers little in the way of feel-good television. There is little to take you out of yourself, little to raise the spirits, when you sit in front of your TV after a hard day in the office.

People often say there is nothing on TV these days – but there is. It’s just all the interesting little programmes, TV producers have for some reason chosen to hide away on daytime schedules…

What do you think? Is Daytime TV better than evening and night-time schedules these days? Let us know your thoughts below…

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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