Robert Hampton

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20th December 2006

I hope someone bought me the Family Guy DVD I wanted
Posted by at 6.27pm | 3 responses | Television

Remember everyone, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to give unto the world a glut of good television shows to watch on his birthday (it’s been a while since I read the Bible, but I think that’s the gist). With that in mind, I’ve been through the bumper Christmas double issue Radio Times (free Doctor Who CD!) with a little pen, circling the shows I want to watch and discarding the hundreds of annoying leaflets that fell out of the magazine while I was reading it.

Here, for your edification, are my picks of the telly over the festive period. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WATCH ANY OTHER SHOWS.

QI Christmas Special (22 Dec, 10pm, BBC Two)

I’ve actually already seen this, thanks to BBC Four. The banter in the opening 10 minutes or so is just brilliant. Alan Davies’s answer to the question, “What does the Queen do after Christmas lunch?” has ensured he won’t be getting a knighthood any time soon.

Doctor Who (25 Dec, 7pm, BBC One)

A Metro article a couple of weeks ago described this show thus: “He can go anywhere in the universe — but usually only travels up and down the M4.” Judging by the preview clips for the Christmas special, that’s literally true this time. Also, Catherine Tate is in it. I don’t hate Tate the way some people seem to, but I’m not sure she’s right for this type of show. Still, look on the bright side: at least it’s not Torchwood.

High School Musical (29 Dec, 5.55pm, BBC One)

Grease for 12-year-old girls who dot their i’s with little hearts, and none the worse for that. If you miss it, it will no doubt be repeated 6 quadrillion times on the Disney Channel.

The Price is Right Christmas Special (23 Dec, 4pm, ITV1)

Yes! This is what we want at Christmas time, some big old Light Entertainment bollocks with all the depth of a reservoir owned by Thames Water. I will admit to enjoying the Joe Pasquale incarnation of this show, mainly because of the gentle piss-taking that permeates it (“It’s a tin-opener! It opens tins!”). No idea what’s going to be in this, but I want to see lots of tacky Christmas decorations everywhere and Joe’s psychic twin brother Raynard arsing around during Cliffhanger.

Harry Hill’s TV Burp (30 Dec, 7.30pm, ITV1)

Just about the only comedy show left on ITV, but it’s easily the best thing on telly. Fresh from winning two British Comedy Awards (and they don’t just give them out to any old crap), this is ideal post-Christmas-pre-New-Year viewing. “If books are so good, what’ve they got to go on telly for?”

Challenge Anneka (26 Dec, 9pm, ITV1)

This is on the wrong channel! This is supposed to be on Saturday night BBC1! I liked the original version, so I’m interested to see how this format holds up, ten years later. There’s an official site up with a video message from Anneka Rice, but they’ve missed a trick by not having her start with, “Hello, it’s Anneka Rice here from the Challenge programme.”

All the Best from Denis Norden (2 Jan, 9pm, ITV1)

Denis Norden announced his retirement earlier this year, and he signs off from ITV with this special retrospective. His career as a writer and broadcaster spans over 50 years, working with some of the great figures of British television and film industry, but his enduring legacy will surely be the clip from Catchphrase where Mr Chips looks like he’s wanking.

And here’s some things I won’t be watching:

EastEnders (zzzzzz)

The capitalisation of the show’s title makes it look like a RISC OS application name — although to be pedantic it would have to be !EastEndrs to fit in the 10 character limit. Anyway, the Christmas Day episode promises “tragedy” — nice to see them trying something new.

Little Britain Abroad (rhymes with “bored”)

A show which set new records for the speed at which it went from “best thing on telly” to “shite!”. This special promises to transplant the characters to exotic foreign locales, where they will do all the exact same jokes.

This Life+10 (2nd Jan, 9pm, BBC Two)

Esther Rantzen returns with a one-off special edition of the light-hearted current affairs programme. Features on talking dogs and misshapen vegetables blend seamlessly with hard-hitting consumer investigations, with an amusing song about traffic wardens from Spider-Man’s archenemy, Doc Cox.

3 Responses
  1. Comment by Seb
    20th December 2006 at 9:27 pm

    Joe Ahearne – who is so notoriously fussy that he didn’t even like the brilliant Eccleston/Tennant regeneration scene that he directed – has already said that the Who special is brilliant. So I’m thinking that, despite Tate, it must be alright…

  2. Comment by Nick Ellis
    20th December 2006 at 9:31 pm

    ‘This is what we want at Christmas time, some big old Light Entertainment bollocks with all the depth of a reservoir owned by Thames Water.’

    I’ll have you know Thames Water have some exceptionally deep reservoirs (an average capacity is around 34 billion litres). They were in fact never less than 98% full during the recent drought. It was the groundwater sources (boreholes and aquifers) that felt the brunt of the rainfall shortage.

    Nick – sticking up for his company ;o)

  3. Comment by Robert
    20th December 2006 at 11:25 pm

    Fantastic — no comments for nearly a month, and then two come along within 4 minutes of each other! Obviously I need to slag off Doctor Who and Thames Water more often.

    You may well have saved me from a libel action there, Mr Nick. In my defence, I needed a water company’s name to do the joke, but my terminal laziness ensured that any research was limited to trawling old BBC News articles.

    Actually, I’m not sure if the above sentence can be considered a defence.