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The ultimate TV and takeaway pairings revealed, backed by science
Featured Image Credit: Freeview

The ultimate TV and takeaway pairings revealed, backed by science

Freeview enlisted the help of an expert to uncover the foods that fit your favourite TV genres.

Picture this. It’s the weekend. There’s no work tomorrow, you’re in your comfies, and your favourite show has returned to TV for another series - result. All there’s left to do now is choose what you’re having for dinner. You know you want a takeaway, but the question is which one?

New research from Freeview revealed that us Brits spend on average 15 minutes or more when it comes to deciding on a delivery dinner - and, with each of us typically ordering over three takeaways per month, that equates to more than a full day’s work-worth of pondering over the course of the year. Add that to the time taken choosing what to watch and getting your partner to agree on a meal and the clock is seriously ticking on your free time.

To save you frittering away your precious weekend moments on food picks, Freeview enlisted the help of food expert Rob Hobson to uncover the cuisines that perfectly compliment popular TV genres.

With over 60,000 hours of content available on Freeview Play - spanning comedy to drama and everything in between - these pairings will save TV and takeaway fans precious time each weekend.

Choose your perfect takeaway next time you settle in for a box set.

Using scientific foodie elements - including vitamins, minerals and macronutrients - to come up with his theories, Hobson has identified the best dishes to enhance your viewing experience.

"Watching TV is a multi-sensory experience in the same way as tucking into a good plate of food. Research has shown that certain nutrients can help to support your mood so I have linked your favourite takeaway with the type of TV you're watching so you can really amplify the viewing experience,” says Hobson.

Without further ado, here are the takeaways you should be scranning if you’re about to sink your teeth into a new TV show.

Spice up your (love) life

If romantic programmes are your ‘thang’, then Mexican cuisine is your takeaway of choice.

Jam-packed with ingredients thought to be aphrodisiacs - like endorphin-stimulating chillies and guacamole rich in mood-regulating magnesium - a taco or two will have you in the mood for love.

With shows like ITV’s You & Me or BBC’s Love, Victor providing the entertainment, Hobson also recommends enhancing the mood by pairing with ceviche, a fish dish that contains high levels of zinc (good for libido).


Everyone loves a good laugh every now and then. But did you know that laughing actually reduces stress?

If you’re watching a comedy show, you’ll want to boost those feel-good brain chemicals that are released when you laugh with a sushi feast.

Next time you watch a funny series like BBC’s Ghosts or US hit Abbott Elementary on Channel 4, indulge in some salmon maki, edamame beans, and nutrient-rich beef tataki to supercharge your serotonin levels with tryptophan and vitamin B6.

Behind Bar-jis

Into crime thrillers, like ITV’s Love & Death? Indian dishes like lentil daal (packed with anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and fennel) and Aloo Gobi (packed with potatoes, cauliflower and plenty of blood pressure-lowering potassium) can help your heart and stomach cope with suspenseful and shocking scenes.

Hobson also notes that plain rice is 'easy to digest for anxious stomachs'. Plus, you can hide behind your naan when it all gets a bit too much.

Get the food mood right when you settle in to a film.

A pizza the action

If you love nothing more than a hot, doughy pizza pie, you’ll be glad to know that Italian food pairs perfectly with dramas, like BBC’s Bad Behaviour.

Slather your slices in antioxidant-loaded olive oil and protein-rich prosciutto, known to support energy levels.

Why not throw in a focus-boosting omega 3-fueled fish-based pasta dish too? That way, you won’t miss any hints as to who the culprit might be.

Sci-Fried (rice)

Mind-bending, other-worldly plots deserve out of this world flavour.

Fans of BBC's Doctor Who and other sci-fi favourites should opt for a Chinese takeaway, choosing dishes like sesame chicken, egg fried rice, and salt and petter tofu to boost their memory and concentration.

Other great sci-fi suggestions include Under the Dome (My5), Humans (Channel 4) and We Are Not Alone (UKTV Play).

Let science be your guide!

As well as enjoying a takeaway infront of the TV on the weekends, certain seasonal TV shows are big drivers for upping the amount of orders us Brits put in with our local takeaway.

Freeview’s survey revealed that 65 percent of us pre-plan a delivery for big TV events - that’s especially true for shows such as The Great British Bake Off, with 49 percent reporting feeling hungrier when watching foodie scenes on screen.