Dinner's done, it's a cold, dark night, and the weekend still seems a long way off.
What better to do than open a nice bottle of red and kick back with an hour or so of Dalziel and Pascoe.
That is just what around 300 people decided to do at a one-off public audience with the Birmingham-based cop show's stars this week.
Actors Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan took to the stage in Birmingham University's majestic Great Hall to meet fans of the programme and answer queries ranging from body piercings and football to their favourite Indian restaurants.
Though set in the wilds of Yorkshire, the show is mostly filmed in Birmingham, at the BBC drama village in the university's Selly Oak campus, and it is now in its ninth series.
The frank and lively twohour question-and-answer session was an opportunity for the audience to see how the pair matched up to their fictional counterparts - the plain-speaking, nose-picking Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel and his cultured junior sidekick, Detective Inspector Peter Pascoe.
Bespectacled Clarke, looking more like a well-fed city financier in his pin-striped suit and pink silk tie, was in his comic element, with Buchanan, smiling, friendly and a bit bashful, was happy to take a back seat.
Their easy camaraderie was born when they first met at a photoshoot three months before the first series was shot.
Buchanan credits their offscreen friendship - people imagining that "we do actually like each other in reality" - as a strong element in the show's success.
Mancunian Clarke - who has had a formidably varied acting career, spanning from A Clockwork Orange to early Crossroads - said he now spent most of the year acting in and producing the show's four-episode series.
He said he loved returning to Birmingham because of the friendliness of the people, while Buchanan likes it so much he actually lives around the corner from the university in Bearwood.
Prompted when a questioner faltered over the pronunciation of Dalziel (it's Dee-el, in case you didn't know), Clarke said even Brummies struggled with his screen name and recounted a similar challenge faced by the cab driver who had brought him to the event.
"'You can't pronounce it can you?' I said. 'Well, you know, I don't get to watch much TV', and - this is a first for me - 'I've always confused it with Dempsey and Makepeace'. I don't know who I was supposed to be!"
Buchanan confessed his most embarrassing moment in front of a camera had been in 1997, shooting Moll Flanders for TV.
"I had to have sex on screen, but unfortunately I had been on holiday four weeks before we started shooting. In one scene, I had to get my arse out.
"Unfortunately, I had a bit of a tide mark. I had to hitch up my nightshirt and have make up daubed on my arse!"
Liz, from table six, questioned whether Dalziel was getting a bit softer in the latest series.
"I picked my nose in the first film when I was in hospital, " he frowningly reminded her. Then, posturing theatrically and assuming a cut-glass luvvie accent, he added: "One has to move on." This he followed with a theatrical pick of the nose and a quick scratch of his privates. "It's a mid-life crisis I'm going through," he huffed.
And he wasn't letting the subject of character development go that easily. Later, he returned to it in a more serious vein following another question.
"We have to move on. In order to make it interesting, we have to go there. We can't just say, 'oh it's Dalziel and Pascoe, let's go back and do what we always do'.
"Not every series works, and some people say that about the last one. A lot of people commented on his silly hair style. But lots of people do actually do that, don't they? They change something just because they want to."
Audience member Sue Flint, a hospital domestic from Stirchley, said she was very glad she had turned up. "I love the series - I like to try and recognise the scenery in it and I like the humour," she said. "I took my sister's boyfriend's place tonight and I'm really glad I came. They've both got different personalities and they are both lovely."
And for the record, neither of them will admit to any tattoos or body piercings, Buchanan is an avid Blues fan, and Clarke's favourite Indian is the Balti Bazaar in Stirchley.