JO DAVISON: Grand designs on switching channels

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

Apparently, I’m so ITV.

That does not stand for Intelligent Tall Vixen or Irrepressible, Teasing Vendeuse.

My husband meant it as in Independent Television. And not in a nice way.

He said it condescendingly; as in, you like common, trashy telly which I find so banal and inferior.

God, he’s so... so... BBC2.

Which is the worst TV-themed insult I can think of to fling in reply.

A quiet night in front of the telly? What a joke. It is the cause of more rows than I’ve had luke-warm TV dinners. Well, not rows as such; more huffy hissy-fits during all the boring, dull, intelligent, worthy stuff he likes to absorb in-between sport (any kind. He’d sit glued to maypole dancing if they introduced a ball).

Our taste in TV is a technicolour reflection of the major differences in our personalities. Him: arty, serious and intellectual. Me: nosy, brash and down-to-earth.

Who watches what on the box - and what someone else reckons your kind of programmes say about you - must surely be one of the commonest causes of matrimonial strife in the modern world.

Divorce petitions are probably littered with rants about irreconcilable differences; EastEnders versus Corrie, Strictly come Dancing or Dancing On Ice. Tussles over the remote turning into trips to casualty (the real one). The weaker one of the partnership suddenly going crazy with the bread-knife after years of being banished to the little telly in the bedroom.

Almost three years into our marriage, I’ve stopped feigning interest when he switches onto yet another incredibly worthy and serious programme raving about something I couldn’t give a fig for. Like the incredibly intricate crocheting skills of some newly-discovered Peruvian tribe.

After a hard day at work, my brain does not want to be challenged or stuffed with facts and fancy-thats. It wants only to be soothed and entertained in a mild and gentle way. Consequently, I love all the stuff he thinks is tripe; to me, soaps are better R and R than a bath. I’m glued to gossipy talk shows, reality shows (I only draw the line at I’m A Celebrity) and Fly on the wall stuff. He tuts that it’s the journo vulture in me, always rubbing my hands in glee at someone else’s tale of woe, then stalks off to wash the pots. Which is worth taking an insult for.

Cookery programmes are another passion. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals, back to back on Sundays? Bliss. And Come Dine with Me, which so succinctly combines food and people behaving as badly as they cook, is my own personal utopia.

You’d think we’d agree on the find-a-new-home shows, seeing as he’s an architect. But the worthy BBC2-er reckons it’s like prying behind metaphorical net curtains.

The only one we agree on is Grand Designs, though that’s for completely different reasons. Him: it opens up the world of construction and makes people think about the living space as shapes, light and form.

Me: Why spend all that on something that looks like an office block... and isn’t Kevin McCloud a bit of alright?