Monday 19 December 2022


It's the time of year where I buy the festive copy of the Radio Times generic listings magazine and, armed with a highlighter pen, I go through and pick out the programmes I want to watch. I know in the age of multi- channel TV and streaming this might seem archaic but it's a practice and tradition I enjoy and hope to continue for many years.

The first thing to address is the lack of an actual copy of the Radio Times. Well, times are hard and the cost could really not be justified this year. Maybe next year. As they say, other listings magazines are available.

Secondly I thought I'd address the heathen in the room and look at the use of the word "Christmas". I don't have a problem with using the word, some in my 'community' do. If you wish me a "Merry Christmas" I will return the sentiment. I will use Yule or "festive season" to describe this time of year though.

So let's get back to business... here's the rules;

No films (although feature length 'made for TV' are fine).
Festive fayre is preferred but not essential.

Nothing that would ordinarily be in the schedule unless it's a festive special. It's strictly my taste so you might find it heavy on the comedy.

Now because of the way the listings magazines are dated they don't start until Saturday 23rd but first I'll look at the stuff before.

Stuff you might have missed...

Joe Lycett Vs David Beckham: A Got Your Back Christmas Special (first broadcast on 15th) catch up on All4.
The story behind the story with the comedian and consumer champion.

Bad Education Reunion (first broadcast on 15th) catch up on iPlayer.
A return of Jack Whitehall in his school comedy.

19th December
QI XL - the extended festive edition (BBC2 9pm)
Who doesn't love QI?

Noel At The Apollo (BBC2 9:45pm)
Stand up comedy at the iconic venue. 

22nd December 

Inside No. 9 (BBC2 9pm)
If you've never seen this series you need to check it out. It's an anthology series so you can jump straight in.

So let's start with the magazine...

23rd December 
There's a bumper offering today, here's the highlights;

Little Red Riding Hood: After Ever After (Sky Max 8pm)
A different look at the classic fairy story.

The Cleaner (BBC1 9pm)
Greg Davis returns as the forensic cleaner, love to see how this gets festive. 

8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown - Christmas Special (Ch4 9pm)
Comedy panel show with words and numbers. 

Motherland - Last Christmas (BBC1 9:30pm)
Festive special of the parental comedy.

The Last Leg Christmas Special (Ch4 10pm)
Topical comedy. 
Two Doors Down (BBC1 10:05pm)
Scottish sitcom at Christmas. 

Christmas Eve
Christmas Carole (Sky Max 8pm)
A new and modern retelling of the classic Dickins' tale. This is my Captain's Choice of the season.

The Great Christmas Bake Off (Ch4 8:25pm)
Who doesn't love a bit of cake at Yuletide? A fun special edition of this iconic baking contest.

Christmas Day
Ghosts (BBC1 7:25pm)
The brilliantly funny comedy returns for a special with the spooky inhabiants of Button Hall. There is an American version but this is the original and the best.

Doc Martin (ITV1 9:05pm)
The final ever episode is also it's first seasonal special. Time to say goodbye to the residents of Portwenn, hankys ready.

Boxing Day

The Repair Shop at Christmas (BBC1 8pm)
I love Repair Shop, more emotional restorations.
Death in Paradise Christmas Special (BBC1 9pm)
The long running murder mystery drama returns, a bit of sunshine on these dark and cold days.

Big Fat Quiz of the Year (Ch4 9pm)
A bit of a ritual in our house is sitting down to the comedy quiz of the year with Jimmy Carr.

Rob Beckett Wallop! (Sky Showcase 9pm)
Live stand up.

27th December 

Frankie Boyle's New World Order (BBC2 10pm)
Not for the easily shocked, Frankie delivers a review of 2022.

28th December 

Mayfield (BBC1 9pm)
A 2 part drama exploring freindship.

Jon & Lucy's Party of the Year (Ch4 9pm)
Married comedians Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont host a party for some of their funny friends.

29th December 

John Bishop's End of the Year Show (ITV1 9:35pm)
Celeb guests and comedy.

Prince Andrew: The Musical (Ch4 9pm)
No idea what to expect here, but I just have to watch this.

Katherine Ryan: Missus (Sky Comedy 9pm)
Stand up comedy.

30th December 

Jason Manford: Recent Nostalgia (BBC1 10:30pm)
Stand up comedy.

New Year's Eve 

It's all 'end of the year' review shows tonight...

Last Leg of the Year (Ch4 9pm)
followed by Adam Hills live.
Graham Norton New Year's Eve Show (BBC1 10:25pm)
Jonathan Ross' New Year Comedy Special (ITV1 10:35pm)

New Year's Day 

The Great New Year Bake Off (Ch4 7:40pm)
More cake.
Taskmaster New Year Treat (Ch4 9pm)
Start a new year with the comedy task based celebrity special.

So there's a few days left over in the magazine but although Yuletide goes through to the 3rd the TV specials fizzle out at this point. Most people I know will have started to pack away the decorations and prepare to take on the new year.

So there you have it, my telly round up for another year. Of course the list is not exhausive and because we live in an age of multi channel TV and EPGs I'm bound to have missed something.

So this brings me onto Streaming. There's way too much to cover but I'll pickout a couple of gems;

Falling for Christmas (Netflix)
Lindsay Lohan stars.

Spirited (Apple TV+)
Ryan Renolds and Will Ferrell stars in another go at the Dickins classic.

The Santa Clauses (Disney+)
Tim Allen returns with a short run series which is the sequel to his Santa Clause movies.

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Disney+)
No idea what to expect but can't wait to check it out.

Your Christmas or Mine (Prime)
Sentimental fun when a couple decide to surprise each other by turning up at each others homes.

There is so much choice that I can't pick out everything but hopefully I've inspired you to have a flick through the channels and pick out your own favourites.

I do always manage to watch the Whatever Happened to the LIkely Lads 1974 Christmas special. It's on YouTube if you're interested.

No comments: