As the leftover turkey gets eaten up in numerous sandwiches, I feel it is a good time to reflect on what has been on the telly and radio over Christmas, especially as for some there is nothing more exciting than getting the Christmas edition of the Radio Times to see what exciting things there will be to watch. This year however, I think it is pretty safe to say it wasn’t too spectacular.
In my previous post where I talked about Sky’s Little Crackers, which I still feel has been the best of Christmas telly despite BBC1’s best efforts. There was The One Ronnie which was a celebration of Ronnie Corbett as he hit 80 and it was funny in places but as it had been billed as the best bit of Christmas comedy viewers were going to get, it could have been a bit better. There was the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special which I decided was best to avoid and then a cheery episode of Casualty followed by the Christmas special of The Royle Family, which you knew you were going to be guaranteed some laughs at, before the first episode of David Walliams and Matt Lucas’ new series Come Fly With Me which personally I thought was pretty good and I look forward to watching more.
Radio on the other hand was enough to despair over. As with every Christmas I’ve ever had, it had the background hum of Classic FM which spent the day doing requests and the best carols ever. It was never going to make me feel too good hearing this due to my hatred of this station but it seemed most stations were doing something pretty similar, which is fair enough as it’s Christmas day and who is really going to be listening ardently whilst stuffing a turkey? Doing a list show for a month before Christmas is not so acceptable, yet that is what Xfm have been doing once again.
Most stations have been playing festive songs between chart music and those contending for Christmas number 1, Xfm has been going through the top 1000 songs of all time. I’m not totally adverse to lists of songs as sometimes you hear a song you’ve not come across before and wouldn’t have had the chance to usually but when the top 1000 songs have already been chosen and counted down previously about a year ago and there has also been the top 100 songs of all time and the top 100 British songs ever, you get a bit fed up. Especially when it is always The Killers that are number 1 (the exception being for the British list). They seem to have deleted previous lists but a search can find evidence that the lists mentioned so far have existed and that there have been others. Clearly they don’t want to spoil the suspense for anyone that has not been subject to the plaudits of Mr Brightside yet.
I can understand these types of list shows on bank holidays or Christmas Day but for five weekends? It just feels lazy and it pretty much sums up a time when no one seems to care what they are listening or watching which is a shame when considering it is probably one of the very few times that a family does gather together to watch the same programmes rather than watch in separate rooms or catch up through iPlayer or 4OD.
I’m hoping next year that in the run up and on the day itself, there’s a bit focus on the content rather than the inclusion of as much tinsel and fake snow as possible as it seems very odd to say that Sky got it right this year.