Children are wonderful aren’t they? Especially when they’ve gone to bed. And when the kids have retired for the evening, parents everywhere like to indulge in a bit of adult TV.
Not like Babestation – no, nothing like as fun as that – I just mean programmes that ward off children, with adult themes such as sex, violence and Peruvian pottery.
You see, there are lots of programmes that despite being post-watershed, are catnip to kids. So you end up reluctantly stepping into your pyjamas and enduring a sweaty child stuck to you all the way through Gogglebox or I’m A Celebrity, gritting your teeth as they gatecrash your carefully designated me-time.
This can lead to stress over the long-term. So it’s important to have a few choice TV shows that are so supremely unsuitable for them that they’ll be out of the living room and up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire in a flash. Then you can cosy up and be your irresponsible, sweary, bitchy, smelly self. Here are some I have tried and tested:
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is classic Get To Bed Now TV. So relentlessly violent that you wonder whether you’re actually old enough to watch it. If your child came in after having a bad dream during all that White Walker zombie dragon stuff they would have nightmares FOREVER, or at least have a weird lifelong penchant for ’70s prog rock album art.
My son will watch paint dry if it’s on a rectangular screen, but will he watch someone called Tiff build their dream oast house in a wet field in Hampshire with nothing but a few friends, some corrugated iron and about 50 million quid in his bank account? No he won’t. Touché.
24 Hours in A&E
OH NO SOMEBODY’S KIDNEYS HAVE FALLEN OUT. Just watch that door slam. Then sit down and cry openly about how great the NHS is.
Botched plastic surgery shows
See 24 Hours In A&E but without the depth, social commentary and cleverly plotted story arc.
Ancient episodes of Taggart
Actually, these can repel people of any age, but personally I love the wonky crash zooms, stagey acting, Glasgow tenements of yore and panto villains, all lovingly interspersed with adverts for care homes. No kid would go near it.
Real Housewives of Wherever
My son sees quite enough of middle-aged women arguing and having nervous breakdowns in real life; which means I get to eat biscuits and watch them all scratch each other’s eyes out in a hotel spa.
Anything on BBC Four
If you want the children to make a quick exit, slap on BBC Four. From the history of the chamber pot to a 10-parter about the Byzantine empire, every programme is a guaranteed kid-repeller. Just open the wine and enjoy…