The best TV to watch when there’s nothing on

TV watching 1

Why don’t we smile like this when we watch TV? It was better in the old days…

There are times in my life where I want to do nothing else but sit in front of the TV and stare.

It does mean your life can be boring if you watch too much – you start living the lives of others and having no experiences for yourself.

But, let’s be honest, few people have exciting experiences and a lot of people watch TV so you’re probably in a stronger empathising position with TV.

Plus, you don’t want to be known as ‘the story-topper guy’, that’s never good. Too many exciting experiences and you’re bound to shout down anyone who talks about climbing Snowdon last weekend: “you climbed Snowdon? That’s like when I hopped up Kilimanjaro on a pogo stick, then saved a small child and finally cured AIDS at the top. Your trip sounds great though.”

The “your trip sounds great though” is always laden with pity and well-meaning – it’s like a knife to the heart after your life-threatening trip up the scree of Snowdon which was really hard!

In conclusion, watching TV is better than having interesting stories.

However, a problem with TV which can quickly arise is: what to watch when there is nothing good on?

This can be hard, particularly if you’re off sick with little else to do but groan on the sofa and feel sorry for yourself. Or perhaps you’re taking a day of rest and you’ve reached the low point of the TV day: once Fraser has finished and Countdown is many hours away.

What do you do?!

Luckily, I’ve got 3 options for you – hopefully these will all help to satisfy your desire to numb your mind:

1) Watch sport – sport is perfect when nothing else is on. Obviously, in plenty of cases, sport is the best thing on, but sometimes it’s not the most exciting thing to watch.

I’ve recently been watching a lot of curling and people going down an ice slide – the curling is thrilling at the end of an end, and the ice slide is interesting for the first run or if there is a crash. Other than that, I could probably leave them both.


The intensity here is second to none – particularly the musical statues part of the game

But watch something you wouldn’t normally, maybe lawn bowling (surprisingly engaging), what about darts (cheer along with the crowds) and even poker (a masterclass in emotion control).

Sport, after all, has engaged us for years because of its natural drama. Try something new.

2) Grand designs – this is always on. Seriously. It’s brilliant though.

Each episode follows the same structure:

Design and plan exciting, discussion on timings and cost, work begins, everyone’s happy, something goes wrong, it’s not a big deal, but everyone’s slightly less happy, Kevin McCloud asks about how much the setback will cost, owners avoid the question, a big setback comes, timing plan goes out the window, budget goes out the window, Kevin McCloud asks about money again, owners dodge his questions again with frustration on their face, everyone is much less happy, people complain, lots more money has to be spent, it will take another 5 months to be finished, building is miraculously finished, Kevin McCloud walks around the building and either slates/compliments their design despite always looking amazing, Kevin McCloud asks about money, owners do not cave to his advances but are happier now, they state they will never move and are incredibly happy with the home they just built.

Kevin mccloud

This is the face of a man I would tell my budget to – even if it overran twofold

3) Watch BBC Alba or S4C Digigol and pretend you’re on holiday in a foreign country – this really is a last resort but it’s still interesting.

Both these channels are available on freesat and are foreign language channels – Alba is a Scottish Gaelic channel and S4C is Welsh.

Sit back, relax and be completely oblivious to what you’re watching. It’s like you’re in Norway or Kyrgyzstan on your well earned annual leave.

I would recommend Craic on Alba, it’s inspiring…


As my friend pointed out, if you speak Scottish Gaelic, you’ve probably been on Craic. And why wouldn’t you want to be?!