Everyone has their own particular order for reading a newspaper, whether they start with the crossword, the sudoku or the obituaries.

According to market research, most people turn first to the TV listings.

With my reading of The Cumberland News , they're fourth. I start with the front page and before reading the other news pages I'll turn to the letters. I particularly enjoy any that take issue with this column.

Then I'll read the profile in the Life section - and after that come the TV listings.

They're always the disappointing bit.

I suspect everybody dislikes Sunday night telly. Even if you're a silverware enthusiast or a lover of the rural idyll, The Antiques Roadshow and Countryfile will always carry with them the gloom and tension of having to get up for work in the morning, the first of the five days in a row when you're cruelly awoken by an alarm clock.

In my younger days those Sunday programmes generally signalled homework I'd put off all weekend, as my mum ironed school uniforms.

I've long believed that the schedulers should keep a slot every Sunday night specifically for re-runs of any popular comedy, to lift the mood of the nation when it's most in need of lifting.

Back in the 1980s Spitting Image used to perform that useful Sunday night function, but nothing has since. Why not?

Yet it's not just Sundays when there's little worth watching. Increasingly it's every night.

I'll cast my eye down the columns for the terrestrial channels on Friday and Saturday, then squint at the listings for the Freeview ones, and find nothing that catches the eye, except a film I've seen before.

There can't be anyone in Britain alive today who owns a TV and hasn't already seen Shaun Of The Dead , Erin Brockovich or The Shawshank Redemption at least once.

A lot of these complaints about TV are followed by a call for the licence fee to be abolished. I'm not about to do that.

I'm a firm supporter of it. BBC 4 and BBC Radio 3 would never survive if they had to rely on selling advertising.

Lucy Worsley's cheerfulness makes British history far more engaging than any class or lecture ever did. Top Of The Pops from the 1980s is an always entertaining reminder of music and fashions you'd forgotten you knew about.

And there's something defiant about Radio 3's broadcasting of Russian symphonies in full at nine o'clock in the morning.

There's none of the attempt to make them easily digestible that you get on Classic FM, with programmes called "Smooth Classics" or "Relaxing Classics".

Some opponents of the licence fee compare it to the poll tax but it's nowhere near as criminally unfair.

In fact it seems fair enough when you consider that all the worst TV programmes are on the ad-funded channels.

Does anyone believe "reality" shows like Made In Chelsea or The Only Way Is Essex aren't rehearsed and scripted?

Even those don't qualify as the world's worst. Love Island and Naked Attraction compete for that title.

Last week Channel 5 was trying to cheer up moaning viewers like me with the happy news that they were going to start repeats of Friends . I can't be the only person who wasn't cheered.

I never found it all that funny. Yes, it raises the odd smile. But it never elicits out-loud laughs in the way that Fawlty Towers , Blackadder , Dad's Army , The Office or The Royle Family did.

Most of the jokes can be seen coming a mile off - or several minutes off.

And it relies for too much of its humour on having a comedy dimwit, Matt LeBlanc's character Joey.

They're easy to write jokes about. We've seen them all before with home-grown comedies featuring Manuel, Baldrick, Trigger in Only Fools and Horses or Alice in The Vicar of Dibley .

I find the most disappointing telly these days is over Christmas. It used to be a great time of year for TV, one when high-profile, Oscar-winning films would get their televisual premiere.

It was great for old ones too. The first time I saw classics like The Godfather , Casablanca and Some Like It Hot was at Christmas.

For several years in a row now I've looked through the schedules in December and found nothing that interested me. All I remember about last Christmas Day is Chas 'n' Dave's Christmas Knees-Up .

I desperately needed an escape tunnel. But where was The Great Escape when you needed it?