Weekends are so precious, aren't they?

And so terribly, TERRIBLY short.

Just two little days to cram everything in you didn't have time for during the week, plus try to relax and have some family time too.

But however happy your weekend is, by Sunday evening your thoughts will inevitably turn to the start of a new week and everything that will face you on Monday.

Which is why evening TV plays such an important role in helping us relax and even to bolster us against whatever the morning might bring and these days, Sunday night TV is pretty good.

Maybe it's because we're grown-up now but we've usually got a drama or a thriller on the go or, at the very least, we're in our own little boxset world, living life on our own terms, making up our own TV schedule as we go along.

But 20 (or even 30 years ago), things were different.

If you ask anyone over the age of 30 what they remember about the Sunday night TV of their childhood, their faces will become ashen.

Saturday night TV was great! Gladiators! Blind Date! You've Been Framed! Noel's House Party!

But Sunday was a different matter.

Almost like they (at the TV) knew you had to go to bed early, or you had homework to do that was too hard or you'd lost the book for.

Let's begin by pressing play on the theme tune for Last of the Summer Wine, shall we?

Last of the Summer Wine

This programme wasn't intended to be watched by a young audience. No, it was more for our Nan's and Grandad's generation.

A cheeky bit of flirting next to a sheep paddock? Nora Batty in her curlers, fighting off the men with a brush?

Nan loved it.

But in the absence of any other choice, it was watched by a lot of young people too.

All of us, on a Sunday, watching people called Compo, Foggy and Smiler like...

The Antiques Roadshow

And so, to another theme tune that would strike pure dread into our young hearts every Sunday.

Homework not done and only a misty morning of double PE out on the school field to look forward to.

We needed a distraction and so, we would turn hopefully to the TV for solace.

But no solace could be found at The Antiques Road Show.

Sometimes, something would be worth some money and that could be vaguely exciting.

But more often than not, you'd watch ten minutes about how this was a certain type of ceramic pottery, typical of a certain area of the UK, during a certain period of time and at a guess, they'd say, at auction it might fetch about £60-£75.

"Would it really?" the person who'd brought the ceramic item would say.

It was like being punched in the stomach.

The Darling Buds of May

David Jason as Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, falling through the bar or calling Rodney a plonker? Absolutely, yes.

David Jason as Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May? Absolutely not, no thank you.

The Darling Buds of May gave us pure, distilled Sunday night feelings right to the core. Cut The Darling Buds of May in half and it would say "Sunday Night" all the way through like a stick of rock.

In 2021 we saw a remake of this show on ITV, not very well disguised as a show called The Larkins, which now stars Bradley Walsh as Pop, but not a single person over the age of 30 has been able to bear to watch it, due to repressed trauma.

They even showed the remake on Sunday nights too, the sadists.

David Jason starred at Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May
David Jason starred at Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May

Heartbeat

"Heartbeat, why do you miss(!) when my baby kisses me?"

What's wrong? Why have you started to cry? Shh shhh, it's OK. You don't have school tomorrow.

You're just feeling upset because we sang the theme from British Period Drama Series, Heartbeat and it made you THINK you have school.

It's OK, Nick Berry has retired from acting now.

Nick Berry from Heartbeat.
Nick Berry from Heartbeat.

Birds of a Feather

To be fair, Birds of a Feather would sometimes cheer us up on a Sunday night.

The theme tune did do its best to try and break us ("What'll I do, when you, are far, away...etc.") but some of the jokes were actually pretty funny.

Dorian was somewhat of an icon for us on a Sunday night.

We'd watch her convinced that if she were our mother, she'd let us skip school in the morning for sure.

Linda Robson, Lesley Joseph and Pauline Quirk starred in Sunday night's, Birds of a Feather
Linda Robson, Lesley Joseph and Pauline Quirk starred in Sunday night's, Birds of a Feather

Big Break

We can't be 100% certain that Big Break was on a Sunday, but whatever day it was on, it certainly made it feel like a Sunday.

The premise was just Jim Davidson and John Virgo attempting to make an entertainment show out of what is essentially the least entertaining thing on the planet - snooker.

Sorry if you like Snooker, but it's true.

Sometimes through our tears we'd see John Virgo do a trick, potting all the balls with his eyes shut, or something like that.

And that was OK.

But on the whole it was a show that filled us with nothing but dread.

All together now, "It's only a game so, put up a real good fight, I'm gonna be snookering you tonight."

Bullseye

And absolutely of the same ilk, what about Bullseye?

"ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY!" someone would shout.

Darts would be yanked out of the board and the thrower would look pleased.

Sigh, come on then. We'd better get to bed if we're going to get up.

What do you mean it's only 6.30pm?

One Foot in the Grave

"4291", Victor Meldrew would say as he'd answer his phone. That was his phone number. And also the funniest joke in the show.

Honestly, it's making us quite angry even thinking about how miserable this show was.

It was a miserable show on PURPOSE depicting the life of fictional misery guts, Victor Meldrew (played by Richard Wilson).

He would just be miserable about things that occurred naturally in his day.

The opening credits were of a tortoise walking slowly in a garden.