Hangover TV 2016 – how to survive New Year’s Day

A unique guide to TV on New Year's Day from the sore head of Jonathan Holmes




Share the pain

As the last dregs of last night’s drinking drain out of you, you feel like the Mary Rose at low tide, your ribs exposed to the morning. You are completely dumb, your legs kicking without purchase in your brain, but there are things you do know.

You know you drank much, much too much last night. You know you did something wrong, something terrible, although mercifully you can’t remember what. You know that if you see that bloke from Top Gear and that guy from that programme drink any more British vino, you’re going to vomit.

Moving on.

Oh thank God. Now this is a real sport: one where you never have to leave the bar. The warm glow of nostalgia helps make up for the wind whistling through your flat.

(Yes, you remember: you broke most of your windows in a rage against the ‘tyranny of glass’. You resolved to ‘live a life without reflection’.)

It’s true what they say: you can’t beat a bit of bully.

Ha. Ha ha ha. Ha.

You are in a great deal of pain.

Right, the thunk of darts has become indistinguishable from the throb of your heartbeat, and the pattern of the board has started to make you dizzy. 

(You thought you were going blind until you realised you had stolen someone else’s glasses.)

Your head is clearing up and, although you’re certainly not 100%, you feel ready to face the day and change the channel.


Much better! Yeah, honey badger! Honey badger don’t give a ****! 

(Is that honey on your arm? It’s sticky like…no, wait. It’s blood. It tastes of blood.)

You wish you could be like honey badger. Honey badger just powers through. Honey badger doesn’t care who he hurts…

Ah. You remember it all now. Oh dear.

Right, getting a bit real over on BBC2 , let’s retreat back to Bullseye. There’s nothing to think about on Bullseye except where you would keep a genuine rosewood grandfather clock and encyclopedia set.

Your head feels like a haunted submarine.

You are the monster, and you have alienated everyone who once loved you.

Look, so you saw red, alright? Bully himself would understand that. You didn’t mean to say it but you did and she went because she would, she had to.

That’s the…what do they call it again?

Oh yes. The horns of the dilemma.


Your age when you met.

“Triple 1.”

The years you spent together.


Her feelings for you.

“Double bull.”

‘I love you.’

‘I love you too.’



Please, Most Rev Justin Welby, tell God and my mum I’m sorry.

It’s all a metaphor, isn’t it? Life is just like darts. The aim is to get lower and lower until there’s nothing left.

Yes, life is like a dart. Except a dart has a point.

Nap time.

Wake up. Watch Thunderbirds and weep for the inner child you laid to rest last night. Fall asleep again.

Wake up. Stop crying. It’s time to man up. 

Throw those worries over your shoulder like so many beer kegs.

They’re all good days to die, and it never gets any easier. But you know what? The key is to keep going. Like John McClane. (Incidentally, why are you wearing a string vest?)

Yes you may be heading full speed into a wall, but that’s life. The key is to throw yourself into it with as much force as you can.

Stop snivelling. You’ve got a whole new year ahead of you, and there are plenty of mistakes still to make.

Super. Smashing.