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Festive Telly

December 28th, 2009 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

I can remember when Christmas seemed to revolve around the television set, something that probably peaked during the 1970s.  These days it seems less and less important with so many other competing attractions.  If the TV is turned on it is just as likely to be for playing the Xbox or watching a new DVD box set as for actually watching any programmes live.  Old habits die hard though, and Jayne still bought a TV listings magazine, which I had a look through.Way back in the mists of the early 2000’s Charlie Brooker started a website called TV Go Home which was a spoof Radio Times-like magazine full of invented ludicrous progtrammes like ‘Vin Diesels 500 Favourite Tartans’ or ‘Nicky Campbell: Swimming With Cats’.  Looking at the schedules for this year it appears that reality has finally caught up with the spoof, especially as far as ITV1 is concerned.  It feels like 50% of their programmes have ‘celebrity’ or ‘all star’ in the title.

The bottom or the barrel has to be this from Boxing Day:

The All Star Impressions Show
One-off special in which celebrities including Ulrika Jonsson, David Gest, Tim Healy, Les Dennis, Eamonn Holmes, Jerry Hall, Paul Daniels and Joe Pasquale impersonate a range of familiar faces.  Hosted by Stephen Mulhern.

If that listing had appeared in TV Go Home I would have enjoyed it as a really good satire on the fatuousness of TV.  I already had that marked down as one to avoid, but braver souls who actually watched it report that it was even worse than it sounded on paper. I did watch the Youtube clip in that link and it really was dire. Eamonn Holmes was a passable Elvis, but the Steptoe & Son sketch…  Mackenzie Crook was an inspired choice for old man Steptoe, but Harold Steptoe said ‘dirty old man’ in every single line, removing any remote chance of wringing any enjoyment out of it.

Immediately before that car crash was All Star Family Fortunes and before that was Ant & Dec’s Christmas Show where, according to the listings, “Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan take part in a series of party games”.  Is it any surprise the BBC thrashed them in the ratings this year?

Looking at the listings for today I see that I am currently missing something really special on Discovery:

How Its Made
Double-bill.  A look at the manufacture of copper pipe fittings and the production of kitchen scissors.

Wow.  It does actually sound more tempting then most of the Christmas so-called specials on offer.

So did I actually watch any TV over Christmas, or just sit sniping at the listings?  I did.  I watched:

Christmas Eve

  • QI (On iPlayer)

Christmas Day

  • Doctor Who – totally bonkers. Like to see what deus ex machina RTD will deploy to get out of this one.

Boxing Day

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (first 30 minutes, then the rest on V+ after our guests went)  I had hoped it would make more sense the second time round.  It didn’t.  Brilliant effects but never really knew what was meant to be going on.


  • Celebrity Mastermind – the last ten minutes.
  • Top Gear Bolivia Special – the credits listed a Safety Advisor’.  Did they leave him at home or something?


I expect to watch the Day of the Triffids remake and at the same time will record the documentary about Not the Nine O’Clock News.  I will not, under any circumstances, watch Match of the Day!

I will also not watch Celebrity Mastermind.  Either I am severaly out-of-touch or the BBC have completely re-defined the term celebrity because the contestands are Darren Bennett, Stuart Maconie, Linda Papadopoulos and Andrew Lancel.  I have heard of Maconie of course but have no idea who the others are.  Maybe  I should watch the first 5 minutes to find out.

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