Thursday 20 December 2018


One of my favourite Christmas pastimes is scrutinising the festive edition of the Radio Times (other listings magazines are available but to be honest they're just a bit shit - in my opinion).

My criteria, as usual is that it has to be a TV show or special - no movies. Christmas/seasonal specials are preferred but any special is appreciated. I avoid stuff that's just part of its regular run (unless it's a Christmas special) and I try and avoid repeats unless it's a real classic. So here goes...

Usually I'd start with Saturday (as this is the first day covered by the festive Radio Times) but I'd be missing on some TV treats on the Friday - my blog my rules.

Friday 21st

Captain's Pick: NOT GOING OUT LIVE ~ 9pm BBC1
I'm a big fan of Lee Mack and his sitcom has been a great vehicle for his snappy one liners. This one is going to be something special since it's been broadcast live! Sadly I'll be down the pub whilst it's on so I'll be watching 'as live' the next day.

Special Mention: THE LAST LEG CHRISTMAS SPECIAL ~ 9pm Ch 4
A festive edition of the topical comedy discussion show. This episode includes Roy Wood singing "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" - what's not to like?

Saturday 22nd

Captain's Pick: GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME - 20 YEARS INNIT! ~ 10:15pm BBC2
Can you believe this Asian sketch comedy is 20 years old? I used to love this so I'll be great to look back at some classics. It's followed by the 1998 Christmas special at 10:55pm.

If you like classics then the Vicar of Dibley special where she eats 3 Christmas dinners is on BBC1 at 9:30pm.

Sunday 23rd

Today is awash with choice, It's been a difficult pick but I've hammered down and quite a bit of it is compilations and clip shows.

When you merge two dull shows the result can sometimes be glorious. I love comedy panel shows and Jimmy Carr - add Christmas and you (hopefully) have a brilliant mix.

Special Mention: STILL OPEN ALL HOURS ~ 6:50pm BBC1
A sitcom that harks back to the comedy of my youth. Add in the fact that it's filmed in Balby which isn't too far from my house (the bus at the end of my road goes there).

So if you fancy something else we have Have I Got 2018 For You, with a review of the year. The Young Offenders is great fresh comedy (and this is a Christmas special). King Gary is new comedy featuring Tom Davis (but sadly not a festive special). There's loads more - worth a look in your listings magazine.


Captain's Pick: CLICK AND COLLECT ~ 9pm BBC1
Festive comedy special starring Stephen Merchant and Asim Chaudhry.

Special Mention: THE QUEEN AND I ~ 6pm SKY1
The monarchy gets disbanded and the royal family move into a rundown street. Looks like fun!


Who watches TV on Christmas Day anyway? I'll be recording this because I'll be enjoying the day with my family.

Captain's Pick: UPSTART CROW ~ 8:35pm BBC2
Christmas special of the Shakespearean sitcom starring David Mitchell and written by Ben Elton.

Special Mention: TORVILL and DEAN ~ 9:15pm ITV
Anyone around my age will remember the ice dancing duo's success in the Olympics, in this dramatisation they look at the story behind the success.


It's the day our household just relaxes, grazes on the food left over from yesterday and top up on the beer. I certainly don't indulge in the greedfest that is the sales - why can't the retail workers get a decent break?

Captain's Pick: BIG FAT QUIZ OF THE YEAR ~ 9:00pm Ch 4A hilarious look back on 2018 in quiz form. I love this annual event.

Special Mention: THE MIDNIGHT GANG ~ 7:30pm BBC1
Another David Wallliams book gets dramatised, these are usually a treat.

Check out The Morecambe and Wise Lost Tapes, a Ken Dodd documentary and a Crystal Maze special. It's also the first day of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Thursday 27th

Not loads to pick at today, worth catching up on those recordings or checking out Netflix's seasonal offerings.

Captain's Pick: FRANKIE BOYLE'S NEW WORLD ORDER 2018 ~ 10:00pm BBC2
Frankie looks back at the year's events through his own cynical way.

Friday 28th

Forget it today, break out the DVDs, unless like me you're back at work.

I hope you've enjoyed my look through the festive TV guide, I'll hopefully check out week 2 next week. Have a great Christmas.

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