Forget playing in the garden or going to the park, a new report into family life has revealed that watching television is the number one thing that British families enjoy doing together.
Four out of five parents told researchers their most enjoyable family time was spent in front of the box with their children, while just one in five said they liked to exercise together.
The Family Living Report was commissioned by Dalepak, the UK’s leading supplier of quality frozen foods, and surveyed 2,000 parents across the UK. It discovered that families watch on average 96 minutes of TV together every day – or put another way, 25 days a year catching up with their favourite programmes.
While worryingly five per cent of families admitted that they watched between four and five hours of television A DAY – which works out at more than two months of telly viewing a year.
The X Factor was voted the favourite show for families to watch together, followed by Britain’s Got Talent and the surprise Channel 4 hit, Come Dine With Me.
There was disappointing news for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, as The X Factor was voted more than twice as popular with families, according to the Dalepak Family Living Report.
The celebrity dance show, now in its ninth series and starring singer Lula, ex footballer Robbie Savage and former politician Edwina Currie, came only ninth in the poll and was beaten by shows including Top Gear, Eastenders, Coronation Street and Dancing on Ice.
Speaking about the Family Living Report Anne Claypole, marketing manager for Dalepak, said: “Programmes like the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent have transformed the way we watch television as a family. They are classic examples of ‘event television’ and are more than simply a TV show.
They actively encourage families to watch together and this is good for family life. The rise in the number of household TVs had lead to fears that children would become more isolated from their parents but programmes such as The X Factor have helped counteract this.
Of course it is good to play together and do things like walk in the park; it is all about getting balance as a family. But you should not underestimate the bonding effect watching feel good television can have on a family, especially when it forms part of the national conversation which is what programmes such as The X Factor do.”
The report also reveals that TV is one of most popular topics of conversation in British households. The number one subject discussed at home is family and friends, followed by TV, while school is the third most popular talking point.
Work came next on the list, followed by conversations about things that are happening in the news, while just one in ten said they sat around gossiping about celebrities at home.
However family life isn’t all harmony and bliss, as a third of respondents insisted they spent more time arguing together than anything else as a family.
Top ten family viewing
- 1. The X Factor
- 2. Britain’s Got Talent
- 3. Come Dine With Me
- 4. Top Gear
- 5. The News
- 6. Eastenders
- 7. Coronation Street
- 8. Dancing on Ice
- 9. Strictly Come Dancing
- 10. Emmerdale
Top five topics of conversation
- 1. Family and friends
- 2. TV
- 3. School
- 4. Work
- 5. The News