Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas on the Telly

David Tennant - The Current Doctor Who

Christmas telly is usually the best TV of the year, apart from Children in Need, but that’s just one night. Well it’s a good excuse for watching so much telly and due to the weather there's not much else I fancy doing. Lots of people don't like watching TV but I have to say I've always loved the telly at Christmas. There's something special about it. I'm glad they do make it special because lots of people are on their own and the telly is their only company.

Brit Girl Sarah set me thinking about this when she talked about how the Sound of Music was always shown on the BBC on Christmas Day. I think The Great Escape was usually on the “other side”. Strange that because they’re not Christmas films. It started me thinking about our perceptions of how great Christmas telly used to be “when we were young”. Was it really that good? I think it was, but over time maybe people’s tastes and our expectations have changed.

What do I remember liking?

I loved to see It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s still one of my favourites. I have to say that it’s not the films I look forward to, it’s the Christmas specials.

I used to love watching the Andy Williams Christmas show with the Osmonds. Then there was Morecambe and Wise. Their shows were amazing. Who can forget Angela Rippon, (the BBC’s very sedate newsreader) when she danced with them and showed her fantastic legs in the 1976 show. We never knew she had legs. Morecambe and Wise still hold the record of 28 million viewers on Christmas Day 1997. That was half the UK population!

Then there were The Two Ronnies. We laughed so much at their sketches and their songs. Oh how I miss them. I bet Ronnie Barker has them in stitches now wherever he is.

So what’s on the cards for this year? Well I’ll give the films the go by, nothing much there I fancy. I don’t watch any of the soaps, I want to be entertained not depressed!

So it’s on to the Christmas Specials. They don’t really go in for the variety type shows now, mostly it’s a sitcom type of thing or a drama.
Rab C Nesbitt is back after 10 years! Now this string vested street philosopher wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but he was mine. Maybe I should say lager! A lot of people couldn’t understand his broad Glaswegian accent but he was great. He and his totally dysfunctional family were quite sad but at the same time hysterically funny. Maybe all great comedy is a bit black. Well I’m looking forward to this one.

The Royle Family, there’s another dysfunctional family who spent most of their lives in front of the telly. They’re back too. They’ve had some brilliant Christmas specials, the one where baby David was born and the last one which was a bit sad when they killed off Nanna.

As Time Goes By is one of my all time favourite comedies with Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. Such witty scripts and wonderful acting. They’re about to become grandparents. Bring it on!

Gavin and Stacey is one series I’ve never seen. I think it must have been shown on one of the other BBC channels. People raved about it and although I really love Rob Brydon and Alison Steadman, I never saw any of the programmes. I’ll take a look at the Christmas special and look out for any repeats of the series if I like it.

Doctor Who also has a Christmas special. Now I’ve always loved Doctor Who, but all my family hate it. My husband never liked it, my children never liked it and now my grandson doesn't. The result is I can't watch it unless it's on another channel late at night. I've watched them all right from the very first one, William Hartnell. I think David Tennant is probably my favourite Doctor, those tennis shoes he wears with a suit, kill me. However he’s announced that he’s leaving the show and there’ll be a new Doctor Who in 2010. Maybe it’s David Morrissey who’s appearing with him as a second Doctor in Victorian England in this Christmas show. Now how can on earth can I manage to see it?

From Larkrise to Candleford is another series I wanted to watch but never got to see. My husband doesn’t like these costume dramas. They have a Christmas special tonight so I bet I don’t get to see it. Unfortunately it clashes with the start of the new series of The Royal, the hospital series set in the sixties. He really likes that one. Why do these TV planners always put really good things on at the same time.

Clash of the Santas is one I won’t miss tonight. I love Robson Greene and Mark Benton and their not so friendly rivalries; so does my husband so we won’t argue over that. It seems like I’ll be watching quite a lot of telly this Christmas. Well short days and long nights and you have to make the most of it,
there probably won't be much on that's worth watching during the rest of the year.

Happy telly watching.


  1. Our one daughter and I love to watch As Time Goes By. In fact I believe she now owns all the shows on DVD's, this way she can watch them when ever she wishes. I can't say I have any special one, unless perhaps Miracle on 34th. Street with Natalie Wood as the little girl. Also like It's a Wonderful Life and The Preacher's Wife with Cary Grant. Merry Christmas.

  2. That series was absolutely brilliant. Judi Dench is wonderful in comedy and Geoffrey Palmer is so deadpan, he never smiles. The other characters were good too. Sadly Joan Sims who played Madge died. She was great.

    The Natalaie Wood version of Miracle on 34th Street was on here yesterday. That's the one with Maureen O'Hara too. I hadn't seen it before. Quite enjoyed it.

  3. I think I've mentioned how much I love Jean and Lionel Hardcastle. Someday I shall own the entire series of AS TIME GOES BY on DVDs.

    You did not mention A CHRISTMAS STORY with Darrin McGavin. It has to be our favorite humorous Christmas story on television this time of year. It is hand in hand with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

    This is a fun post that gets us to thinking.

  4. Hmmm. I guess I should turn on BBC America to see what's showing.

    My favorite holiday movie is Pocketful of Miracles with Bette Davis and Glen Ford. In fact, I adore that movie! For years and years, the Sound of Music was aired on Thanksgiving night. We always watched it after dinner.

  5. Can't remember either of these films. Also I can't see them on the film schedule for the next 2 weeks. We don't have Sky satellite only Freeview so our channels are limited. My husband refuses to support Rupert Murdoch's finances!

    Here's the trailer for the Darren McGavin film It does look good.

    The Bette Davis Glenn Ford lokks good too. What a cast and Frank Capra directing!

    Thanks for this information, I'll keep an eye out for them.

  6. It's A Wonderful Life is probably our favorite although we just watched part of "You Can't Take It With You" last night. I had never seen it before and loved what I saw. I'll try to watch all of it soon. There are so many really good ones. I don't think we have variety shows any more but we used to back in the 60's and 70's.

  7. I find the tv isn't as good at Christmas over here in Canada, as it was in Britain.

    Gill in Canada

  8. Hey, Winifred, I like telly ANY TIME! If I could watch movies, watch telly and read books whilst swimming, I'd be in heaven. Thanks for your frequent visists and comments and I'm lucky to report it's summer, I'm on holidays, and lots of swimming will be done! (If I get out from behind the computer)

  9. I have to say that the Great Escape would always take first place for me mostly because of Steve McQueen but also it is a great movie. Used to love all the Christmas specials at one time. This year have seen Lark Rise to Candleford which was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed by me and OH. I expect we will dip in to one or two others as well. As Time Goes By is a definite favourite and as we have been watching Gavin and Stacey will try to catch the Christmas episode. Also The Royle Family.

    Hope you are now feeling better Winifred and that you family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

    A x


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