Nine reasons you should leave your sofa this autumn
Jane McGuire

Nine reasons you should leave your sofa this autumn

Autumn course ideas

First published date September 25 2014 Amended date November 19 2014

As the nights draw in and we get ready for winter, curling up in front of the TV has never looked more appealing. Talk in the office turns to X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, and it seems we are not alone in our wintery wish for a little TLC in the form of nights in, watching the box. Yet here at Hotcourses we are always looking for ways to get inspired, and it turns out the new TV shows this autumn were just what we needed to turn on the Sky+ and get learning. Whether it’s learning something new or rediscovering an old hobby, there has never been a better excuse to get inspired by your favourite TV show and sign up to an evening course.


X Factor

For most of us, Saturday nights have become all about X Factor as Simon, Cheryl, Mel and Louis return for another year judging the nation’s singing talent. A few weeks in we have finally stopped pining for Mr Barlow and are shot gunning our favourites to win from the first auditions. It may seem obvious, but if you fancy standing on the ‘X’ and auditioning next year, getting an honest opinion from a singing tutor could save you from televised embarrassment. For those who don’t need a professional to tell them they are tone deaf, why not join the Cheryl vs. Mel B fashion debate and sign up to a dressmaking course?


Strictly Come Dancing

Bringing ballroom dancing back into fashion for another year, this autumn sees the likes of Caroline Flack, Mark Wright, Pixie Lott and Judy Murray dress up in glittery numbers and shimmy, fox trot and samba into winter. Dancing is undoubtedly a great way to work out, but for those with two left feet there are plenty of other options out there. With the Christmas party season around the corner, now is not the time to open that second bag of Minstrels, but sign up to a fitness class and get the body you want for winter.


The Great British Bake Off

On the other hand, if fitness is the last thing on your mind as the evenings get darker, let the nation’s favourite Bake Off inspire you to get in the kitchen. We can’t promise you will be up to Mary Berry’s stylish standards by the end of the session, but you will be well on your way to impressing Paul Hollywood with your home bakes. As we found out when we caught up with last season’s winner Frances Quinn, everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t worry if you can’t crack an egg, there are plenty of beginners classes available. 


Downton Abbey

For Downton fans it’s been a long old wait since the Christmas special. Will Lady Edith’s luck improve this year and will Bates end up in jail for the second time? As everyone’s favourite period drama returns to our screens, why not embrace the English accent and take an old school elocution lesson? Alternatively, for those wanting to follow in Julian Fellowes’ award winning footsteps, a screenplay writing course could be your route to fame.


Doctor Who

A new Doctor with an older face, Peter Capaldi returns this autumn as the Tardis driving time traveller. We must admit, choosing a course for the Doctor was a little tricky, but we think computer programming would be right up his street when it comes to fixing his sonic screwdriver, or defeating a Darlek. For his side kick Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, an astrology course could be a great way to get used to staring at the stars.



We must admit we got a little over excited when we heard Broadchurch would be back for another series. Remember the days when the office was abuzz with the ‘whodunnit’ drama? After gaining three Baftas for the first series, creator Chris Chibnall has returned to Dorset with David Tennant and Olivia Coleman to create the much anticipated sequel. If you’ve always dreamed of joining the police, it is never too late to take the plunge and change your career. On the other hand, if you were as blown away as we were with the acting talent last year, even red carpet stars have to start somewhere.


The Apprentice

Football loving Lord Alan Sugar reportedly pushed back the start date of this year’s Apprentice, to avoid it clashing with the summer’s World Cup. Slotting back into its 9pm slot on BBC One, Lord Sugar, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady are back. If you think you could cut it in the boardroom, we have plenty of Business Start Up courses to give you the push you need. What’s more, to find out what it’s really like being a contestant on the show, why not read our interview with 2008 winner Yasmina Siadatan?


The Flash

Superhero fans out there will be clutching their comics in excitement at the arrival of ‘The Flash’, the new superhero drama coming to Sky. Why not dig out your old school books and learn how to draw the heroes of your childhood with an animation course? On the other hand, if you’ve always fancied finding out how the special superhero effects are created, we have plenty of courses to get teach you the tricks of the trade.


The Great Fire

Move over Downton (dare we say it?) ITV’s big period drama starts this autumn as The Fire comes to our screens. Based around the 1666 Great Fire of London, starring Andrew Buchan, The Fire is set to thrill. If (like us) even the mere mention of The Fire of London brings a furrowed brow and memories of forgotten lessons at school, it could be time to discover more with a history course.


So get your iplayer log in ready, get up off the sofa and try something new this autumn. On the other hand, if you find inspiration from a TV programme we’ve forgotten to mention, let us know on our Facebook page – we love hearing from you!  

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.