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If social distancing restrictions are starting to drag, we’ve pulled together some entertainment suggestions for you.  What are you watching, reading and listening to? Let us know.

Binge-worthy TV shows

Streaming services have never been more popular and the addition of Disney+ in the UK came just in time to entertain children. But with so many different streaming options, plus the usual TV shows, it can be difficult to know what you should be spending your time on. Here are five TV shows we think are worth binge-watching.

  1. Ozark: Brian’s favourite! Picking up 14 Primetime Emmy Awards, this Netflix series is one that should be on your ‘to watch’ list. The American crime drama tells the story of financial adviser Marty Byrde as a money-laundering scheme with a drug cartel goes wrong. It’s intriguing, fun and the narratives of the characters are expertly intertwined. The third season came out in March and we’re sure you’ll be eagerly awaiting season four in no time at all. Before you ask, none of Jones Hill clients are members of a Wiltshire Drug Cartel (to the best of our knowledge!).
  2. Derry Girls: If you need something that will make you laugh out loud and escape the lockdown, Derry Girls gives you a taste of Irish humour. Set during the conflict in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, it follows a group of teenage girls navigating their teenage years as they attend a Catholic girl’s school. There are two seasons, both available on Channel 4’s on demand service 4oD, with a third season expected later this year.
  3. The Crown: A few months ago everyone was talking about the latest series of Netflix’s The Crown, which charts the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth. If you didn’t catch it when the latest season was released, now is the perfect time to get caught up. There are three seasons, with an excellent cast including Claire Foy, Helena Bonham Carter, Olivia Colman, Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies. From the coronation to the moon landing, The Crown looks at some of the key moments in Britain’s recent history.
  4. House: There’s no shortage of medical dramas available to watch, but Hugh Laurie’s Dr Gregory House has become one of the best-known thanks to his flawed character and cantankerous delivery. Whether you’ve already watched the episodes or they’ll be new to you, we recommend viewing on Amazon Prime, where every episode can be found, to unravel the entertaining medical mysteries.
  5. Outlander: For fans of romance and history, Outlander could be perfect and is available on Amazon Prime. Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, the show follows the story of Claire Randall, a combat nurse from 1945, that’s swept back in time to Scotland in the 1740s. With series five streaming now, there’s plenty of episodes to keep you entertained.

Books to escape with

Prefer to curl up with a good book? There’s plenty of exceptional books that can be accessed digitally or ordered online whilst the social distancing restrictions are in place.

Hilary Mantel’s final instalment of her Thomas Cromwell series came out just in time for Lockdown. The Mirror and the Light conclude the epic story of Britain during the 1500s and the reign of Henry VIII. If you’ve not yet read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the trilogy is perfect for escaping to another time.

If you prefer something modern that will keep you on your toes, you may want to delve into the pages of Part of the Family by Charlotte Philby. Released just last month, the thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout as the veneer of a perfect life begins to crack as a secret unravels.

If non-fiction is more your thing, we’d recommend Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari for a fascinating look at how we make the most advanced animal that ever lived. Given the current situation, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor can give you a unique insight into the NHS and the pressures staff face. Adam is also bringing together a book featuring 100 stories to say thank you to the NHS, due to be released in July, with the proceeds going to charity, that can be pre-ordered now.

Podcasts that can teach you something new

When it comes to learning something new, podcasts are a great resource to turn to. There seems to be a plethora of podcasts on almost any topic imaginable. Here are three of our favourites to sit back and relax with when you want to discover a new perspective and facts:

  1. Stuff You Should Know: As the title suggests, this popular podcast will teach you things that you should know, but probably don’t. It’s filled with fun and interesting facts, from who gets to name continents to how insanity can be used as a defence in real life, and how diamonds work. It’s based in the US, but there’s still plenty to be learnt by putting your headphones on and listening to Stuff You Should Know.
  2. No Such Thing As A Fish: If you’re a fan of the random things you learn watching QI, No Such Thing As A Fish is a must download. Each week, the ‘QI elves bring a podcast where they discuss the best things they’ve found that week. It’s attracted over 700,000 subscribers and picked up several awards for good reason. It’s a great source of ‘useless knowledge’ to wow family and friends with.
  3. Omnibus: With two episodes every week since 2017, Omnibus has hundreds of back episodes to dive into straight away. The show described itself as an encyclopaedic reference work of strange-but-true stories that are being compiled as a time capsule for future generations. It offers a new take on historical events and pop culture, but is anything but a dull lecture, the two hosts don’t take themselves seriously as they cover an astonishing variety of subjects.