Lifestyle · March 23, 2020

The Big Staying IN IN Guide

(I am available for excellent Photoshop collage services from today)


I won’t go on about why I’m doing this guide, because YOU KNOW. You’ve heard it everywhere. Most of us are at home (if we’re not a key worker on the front lines- thank you, if that’s you) and are generally confined to the four walls of our own home whilst this strange and scary old saga unfolds beyond our front door. 

Typically, if someone said to me ‘HEY! You have all the time in the world (bar work) to watch everything you’ve ever wanted to catch up on’ I’d be overjoyed, but alas, it’s not quite the ideal circumstances. Anyway! We don’t need to moan here, because being a long time self-isolator and veteran of terrestrial TV, I’ve popped together a beginners guide (for those that naturally have the same terrible TV taste as me) to staying in. What to watch, what to listen to and which celebrity live videos to watch daily when the lonelies kick in. Because there are already 4000 guides out there telling you THE BEST THINGS TO WATCH ON NETFLIX, I thought I’d keep this guide strictly to the rom-com/musical genre I favour, indulgent I know. You won’t find cutting edge crime dramas or deep documentaries, but I can promise you a sing-song of a life time and a lotta lols in-between…

P.S I’m sure I’ve forgotten things, do share below- I’ll keep adding as I remember!


Because I am actually 80 years old (hi, hello, nana here)- I am a solid live TV before Netflix kinda gal. Give me weeknight quizzes, Escape to the Country and dating shows before anything cutting edge and down with the kids any day of the week please and thank you. So, to ave you from ratting around on the Radio Times, I’ve started by listing the go-to’s that are on most weeks (starting with this week of course)…
On Monday we have…
  • Escape to the Country (BBC1, very wholesome, great background TV too if you’re working)
  • The Great Interior Design Challenge (3:45pm BBC 2, this is a repeat but the previous series is excellent)
  • Great British Railway Journeys (6:30pm BBC2, trust me, when I’m out I will be Michael Portillo-ing all over the UK)
  • Only Connect and University Challenge (from 8pm BBC1- not quite your pub quiz, but a close second, the satisfaction of a correct answer on either show is unrivalled)
  • Escape to the Chateau DIY (4pm Channel 4, anything with Dick and Angel gets a thumbs up from me)
  • Race Across The World (7pm BBC2, you will get sucked in)
  • The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off (8pm Channel 4- need I say more?)
  • Five Guys A Week (9pm Channel 4- EXCELLENT dating fodder)
Thursday Night…
  • Well First Dates is normally on (so head to catch up) but this week we have The Pet Talent Agency at 10pm on Channel 4, which sounds amazing if I’m being honest.
Friday Night…
  • Would I lie To You (8:30pm BBC1, me and Joe always watch the Bob Mortimer episodes on YouTube which are equally brilliant)
  • Gogglebox at 9pm (to fill you in on everything else you should watch)


Stranger Things, Parks and Rec, The IT Crowd, New Girl, Gilmore Girls, Love Is Blind, Derry Girls, Gossip Girl, Hannah Gadsby: Nannette, Queer Eye, Love, Doctor Foster, The Mighty Boosh


Fleabag, Catastrophe, Downton Abbey, Travel Man, Modern Love, Bob Ross Joy of Painting, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

And the ‘it goes without saying’s’…

STATH LETS FLATS forever and always and Line of Duty.



THE ULTIMATE FEEL GOODERS (and help I need a good sing)

Dirty Dancing, Mamma Mia (one AND two), Julie and Julia, Pretty Woman, Bridget Jones, The Devil Wears Prada, The Princess Diaries, 500 Days of Summer, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, The Goonies, The Sound of Music, Grease, Singin’ In The Rain, La La Land, Moonrise Kingdom, Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Blinded by the light, Paddington (one AND two), The Graduate, Sing Street


One Day, Les Miserables, Beautiful Boy, The Notebook, Toy Story. That’s it. You don’t need to cry any more.


Ferris Buellers Day Off, The Theory of Everything, About Time, A Little Princess, Frances Ha, Christopher Robin, Mary Poppins Returns, Supersonic, Nowhere Boy, P.S I Love You, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Love Rosie, Gaga: Five Foot Two, One Day, Drive, Captain Fantastic


Call Me By Your Name, Booksmart, Green Book, Chef, Vice, Wild Rose, The Disaster Artist, Paddington, School of Rock, Alan Partridge Alpha Papa, What We Did On Our Holiday, Eight Days A Week The Touring Years,


Every evening, I’ve obviously been big on the scroll, so rather than a live event I’ve been feeling v. intimate with some of my favourite artists/people with these ones being some of the best (so far)!
  • We Are Scientists have been performing a song every night about 8/9pm
  • On Twitter Luke Wright has been doing some poetry 8pm
  • Christine and the Queens & First Aid Kit did amazing mini-gigs last Saturday, so keep checking in on them! 
  • Lindsey Kelk is reading a Chapter every day from Cinders & Sparks which is so lovely.
  • Jimmy’s in Manchester have been doing nightly Isolation gigs, which have been so brilliant too.



Because sometimes you really just need someone in your ear saying ‘it’s going to be ok’…
  • Unlocking Us by Brené Brown
  • The Fringe of It by Charlotte Jacklin and yours truly (not biased)
  • Nobody Panic by Stevie Martin and Tessa Coates
  • Happy Place by Fearne Cotton
  • How To Fail by Elizabeth Day 
  • Desert Island Discs / Inheritance Tracks
  • Jules and Sarah the podcast
  • The Adam Buxton Podcast
  • Athletico Mince
  • The Body Protest with Nadia Craddock and Honey Ross

What else have I missed? This is (pretty) strictly PG, but answers below and I’ll see you cutting up the curtains after watching the Sound of Music…



  • Reply
    March 23, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you Liv for this list! I have to admit, I hope we have BBC at home (living in Hungary) as I really want to watch Escape to the Country. If you have Fine Living, the channel, pretty much everything is good on it as well, haha! And you forgot one of the most important movies – in my humble opinion: YOU’VE GOT MAIL!! It is a must also in the category of romcoms featuring the dream duo Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 8:43 am

    <3 Cute – I'm forcing my other half to watch Dirty Dancing this, what else has he got to do after all? I totally recommend The Stranger on Netflix if you haven't seen it already, sooo gripping!

  • Reply
    Laura Denis
    March 24, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Thank you for sharing some recommendations! I find so hard to start watching something just because there is so much time and so many choices haha.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Thanks so much for this Liv, it’s an excellent list!
    Two YouTube channels I’ve been loving for a dose of wholesome goodness are Bon Appetit (you will fall in love with all of the extended cast/crew) and Living Big in a Tiny House for pure escapism. Can definitely recommend those if you add a YouTube section!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing this massive list of great recommendations!! I must say I don’t really have extra time since university is still busy, even though I don’t have classes anymore. Still it’s nice to fill my evening with a good film or series. I’ve watched Letter for the King on Netflix and I absolutely loved it. It’s a different genre than your list, but maybe you’ll also enjoy it! <3
    Love, Eva

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Oh and I forgot to add this! (Sorry) Watching old home videos & old vacation pictures is also a great way to spend time 🙂

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    One to add to the Netflix list…. Sex Education.
    I literally cannot choose between this and Stranger Things as my favourite ever Netflix show.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    The Pet Talent Agency actually sounds amazing, I’m really looking forward to watching that!

    Jodie |

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Ok, so I thought you had this because of the guy from Fleabag (Jamie Demetriou) BUT you don’t!…
    So, let me introduce you to another show he’s in, aka the best thing I watched last year: the remake of Four Weddings & A Funeral — I think it’s Hulu/Amazon.
    Reasons to watch: Mindy Kaling was a co-creator, the cast is beyond sensational, the costuming is like 1000 out of 100 good (especially Ainsley omfg), the music is pretty fab, it’s HILARIOUS and so well-written, it’s woke without being heavy-handed, it celebrates friendship, and ultimately, it actually enhances the O.G. Four Weddings while also prompting a deep-dive into the Richard Curtis/Emma Freud catalogue. It’s the absolute best homage to the 1994 Four Weddings.. An additional endorsement: the lead character loves Mamma Mia and it’s just so delightful!!!

    On that note — a podcasting segue to recommend the following Love Stories with Dolly Alderton episodes: Emma Freud, Matt Haig, and, of course, Stanley Tucci (Stanley is EVERYTHING).

    Finally, there’s a podcast episode of Modern Love read by Saoirse Ronan and it’s sublime; it’s about communicating love with a language barrier. Ever since I listened to it I can hear her accent reverberating in my mind soothingly and the sentiment is so special as well as fitting right now when what’s happening is a terrifying global challenge superseding language and culture.
    Here’s a link to it:

    As always, thank you so much for your work, Liv. Everything you contribute is brightening people’s days and that light, especially now, is treasured. Thank you xx

  • Reply
    March 25, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Your ebullience is refreshing!!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2020 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations, Liv! I’m glad you also included About Time, it’s my favourite movie 🙂

  • Reply
    The Read/Watch/Listen List While We're Self Isolating – Ghenet Actually
    April 1, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    […] next few weeks, trying to find some downtime will be pretty important! Liv has also shared a great list of things to watch and listen to, so give that a read as well! I’ve shared a few reading lists in the past as […]

  • Reply
    April 19, 2020 at 10:56 am

    The joy of getting a University Challenge answer right!! Picking a fave to root for on Mastermind is another goodun’

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