Beware the big grey box

Published September 19, 2005

Jo Whiley on Radio 1 is starting a campaign to stop people watching television for one week. It’s part of her ‘I Have Never’ slot which is there to get people doing things they would never normally dream of, getting them to engage with other people (I have never given a flower to a stranger), getting them to embrace new things (I have never been to see a band I’ve never heard of) and that kind of life-enhancing thing.

A while ago, going without television for a week would have been a nightmare. I used to watch anything that was going and would channel hop over and over again until I found something that was ‘okay’ to watch, even if I wasn’t particularly interested in it.

Now, things are different. I switch the television on in the mornings because I can’t stand the quiet. There’s usually an episode of Friends on Channel 4, so I’ll keep that on while I’m going about my morning routine. I also manage to catch the first five or ten minutes of whatever sitcom is after Friends, which is really frustrating because I never get to see how it all works out.

When I get home from work (unless I’m late), I’ll watch Hollyoaks on E4. I also watch Lost, ER, Desperate Housewives, Big Brother (unless it gets boring), Top Gear, anything with Danny Wallace (except that baby thing), and the Grand Prix at weekends. I love to watch Countdowns on the music channels.

But I could live without all of these things (except maybe Hollyoaks). Especially because the rules of Jo Whiley’s little challenge say you are allowed one programme to watch during the week (Lost) and you can Sky+, Tivo or whatever your preferred method of recording is, any programme you like. You can watch one sporting fixture, and you can watch one DVD.

That just sounds too easy and you might as well not bother, so I’m not going to. Besides, the idea is to get out and do something else instead of sitting in front of the big, grey box. The real challenge for me would be getting me out of the chair in front of THIS big, grey box.

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