Sarah Millican: Watching young people’s telly is a bit like watching porn

"I’ll watch for a couple of minutes until either someone walks in or something happens that I don’t understand"

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Sarah Millican: Watching young people’s telly is a bit like watching porn
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Sarah Millican

I’ve just realised that I lean towards telly that features people of a similar age to me. That’s a bit weird, isn’t it? I watch soaps with casts of all ages because there are at least three or four people in my age band. Somehow it’s fine if they’re a murderer as long as they’re not a young one.

In Bake Off, Mel and Sue are in my gang. At least two of the X Factor judges would tick the same age box as me on a form. And if you add together the ages of Tess and Brucie and divide them by two, it’s probably me.

I’ll dabble in shows starring older folk – Last Tango in Halifax, New Tricks, Question Time – but never really commit. Like I’m flicking through a catalogue of plates with the Queen on but not looking at the prices. Which is odd given that I give myself so fully to the slightly pensionery lifestyle: slippers, cardigans, no hard toffees.

Whenever I stray into “young people’s telly”, it’s a bit like I’m watching porn. I’ll watch for a couple of minutes until either someone walks in or something happens that I don’t understand. I tried Hollyoaks the other day and couldn’t get past the opening credits.

Mainly because they were so long. I remember when Hollyoaks started. I was the right age to watch it and could remember the names of all six cast members. And you could tell people apart in those days. The opening theme now must be on a 12-inch single as probably 60 attractive people with only two body shapes and four faces blow kisses or point fingers at the camera. It felt like I’d flicked through a Kays catalogue.

I tried Fresh Meat again because, even though they’re at university, I remembered there’s one older one who’s a bit weird in glasses. Maybe Howard is my ticket. And I love it. It’s funny and smart and the characters, while young, are well rounded and believable. I might not want them in my house but I like them on my telly.

I love Drifters, too, Jessica Knappett’s new sitcom about three friends who are post-uni and pre-happiness – that odd middle bit where you don’t know what you want to do but it definitely isn’t this. Who can’t relate to that? I was there for ten years. It makes me honk with laughter and it’s so great to see a show with three female leads and no apology.

How young can I go, though? Is Cheggars Plays Pop still on?

Sarah's stand up DVD Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is available at radiotimes.com/dvdshop


 


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