I think you can probably guess by the title, that I’m an evening person. I have always been and I know I always will be. I can happily stay up all night (and have on a few occasions!) but getting up early will never be easy. It doesn’t help that I find myself at my most creative from 9pm onwards each evening and when I’m in writing-mode that’s me until gone midnight. This was fine in education, but with a full time job, not advisable!
So why do I hate mornings? Well, for most of the year around they are cold and dark, and I am someone who feels their energy is solar powered! I have a SAD light to help me wake up in artificially natural conditions and my mobile alarm is set to smart alarm, so I am only woken within a time period when the phone sensors are aware I am in a light sleep. It means I have time to get used to the fact it is morning, catch up on all things smartphone – news, weather etc before getting up. All of this helps, until I stagger to the bathroom in the dark, upending everything on the floor, walking into the airing cupboard door and bouncing off walls! While I am vaguely aware there are Lycra-clad joggers dashing off for their morning run in the drizzle, or people heading to a pre-work spin class at the gym, I cannot join them.
If it’s dark outside I want to hibernate and morning television makes no concessions! It doesn’t matter whether you switch to BBC or ITV, both options are likely to put me in a grumpy mood. BBC spends the whole time fixating on sport and ITV throws in an advert break every ten minutes. I’m not a sports fan, so I opt for ITV. When the adverts come around the volume on the set suddenly rises by a good few levels. Have you noticed this or just me? I end up staggering to the remote to keep turning it down. In the evening it’s up, up, up when the quiet drama comes on, in the mornings it’s being shouted at by Compare the Market or We Buy Any Car!
So morning television, where does it go wrong? Well, to start with we do need the news regularly; that’s the main reason we are tuning in, but why do we get competitions and weather with twice the frequency? Surely the news is the item we most want to catch before dashing off to work. Instead we get a weather girl wanting to tell us the weather is resembling a disaster movie like The Day after Tomorrow, when actually it’s just cold and wet. I’m sure weather forecasters are generally nice people, but the need for drama in the morning is too much! I just want to make myself presentable and leave for work without worrying about 60mph winds that actually are 15mph and a weather warning just because it rains for 4 hours straight. When the regional weather comes on, despite being based in Wiltshire, most mornings we get London’s weather, so this part of the morning segment repeated ad nauseum is of course completely pointless.
The competitions also are just as strange. They spend the whole show telling you a big star will be coming on shortly, and then when they do, the presenters announce an ad break, then go straight back to the competition and then finally get back to the person they are interviewing. Also, why does Andy Peters have to shout at us? If wining £40,000 is great, why do we need it bellowed at us?! The interview then ends up with a 3.5 minute conversation consisting of “What’s it like to work with,” “What is whoever like” and “How did you feel when” being asked in a long drawn out way. I appreciate in the morning they don’t have time for a half hour interview, but these questions must be banned. None of these questions produce an interesting answer. If I ever became famous I would answer the second one with an “interview them and find out” as I find it strange to have one person sitting on the sofa and ask them about someone else – who do they have to interview to ask about the person actually sitting there?! It just feels very awkward as most people will declare “everyone great, so so humble to have the part/opportunity” etc.
But the worse interviews without question have to be the human interest slot. These have to be renamed. When you’re getting ready for work the news is depressing enough, but then finding out someone had something truly hideous happen to their loved one is not the way to start the day. I’m not being heartless but my eyes glaze over quickly on this one. The interviews are suddenly around 10 mins long. Usually it involves bringing an unruly kid (of which there are always several!) into the studio who doesn’t want to be there and a mother protesting that if the council had done this differently, their child would still be fine. Some of them are just plain silly. One less serious case I saw a while ago involved a fifteen girl wanting to use a tanning bed in a salon. Being under age she was sent away, but instead of heading to Boots for a bottle of fake tan, instead she waited until the desk was empty, snuck in and used the bed anyway. The result? Not knowing what she was doing she managed to burn herself badly. The mother was now on TV trying to get compensation from the tanning centre as she felt their adults-only sign was too small. As if that would have stopped a teenager!
So the final problem with morning television. On Good Morning Britain, the addition of Martin Lewis to cover the money slot, is just too much. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and maybe if I had a drink with him we would become friends, although I doubt it – a 15p off a Starbucks drink just makes me think I’m with a tight-wod! But my main problem with him is two fold; I can’t deal with his saying “yers” every other word. It’s “years!” Yes, you argue it’s a dialect thing, but I am not so sure. I just find it annoying like when Tess Daly says “cuples” on Strictly Come Dancing and you want to jump into the TV set! My other issue with him is how he rattles off figures and APR’s at a Jeremy Clarkson style acceleration first thing in the morning, and expects us to be with it. Maths is not my strong point, like mornings we will never be friends, but I think even an Accountant would struggle to grasp everything he says. He may have the day to hunt out all the good deals, but the rest of get home from work tired and see “get new car insurance” on the to do pad, as a chore. We look around of course, but really we don’t have the time to haggle. There are times I think Martin is almost disdainful – look at us wasting our money because we don’t get home and check out five comparison sites and spend several hours on the phone! Most times you get stuck in a queue until Vivaldi’s Four Season for the umpteenth time produces a slammed phone and a bottle. Plus, if you want to cancel a policy you normally have to pay a cancellation fee, then call up again when the old company “forgets” to stop charging you. Switching really isn’t easy.
So why you ask do I put up with this and not switch off the television and enjoy a moment of calm before rush hour traffic? Like most people I still need something with sound in the background in the morning, and I suppose like us all screaming at the television set has become a past time!
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