Xmas Gems

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Every day some listings magazine or other is desperate to tell you what Xmas shows you must not miss. But it’s always the same ones, Dr Who, Ab Fab blah blah… Here’s six other reasons we’re glad to pay the licence fee.

1. Top of the Pops 1976 Christmas specials

Though the Beeb still make Xmas specials (bring back TOTP we say!) they don’t make em like they used to. Here’s proof that mainstream popular music has always been as dreadful as it is now. Demis Roussos, Brotherhood of Man, The Wurzels and Showaddywaddy, plus of course, Cliff. But what was number 1 in 1976? Prepare yourself…

2. Jim’ll Fix It With Shane Richie

While Jim would have loved the idea of bringing his flagship show back the Beeb couldn’t find a host with a little eccentricity? Oh well, it might be good for a laugh. But can it beat the lad meeting Iron Maiden? Or Scouts stuffing their faces on a rollercoaster?

3. Night Music: Songs After Dark

If you’re still up, having had a turkey-induced Xmas Day snooze, at 2.20am you could do worse than get over to BBC4 and watch a bunch of songs about the night from REM, Patti Smith, The xx and Mercury Rev from the Beeb archives.

4. Old Jews Telling Jokes

No, it’s not old Jackie Mason schtick, it’s just retired folks telling gags and tall tales, mostly New Yorkers. It sounds rubbish but you will laugh yourself silly. Our fave: Why are Jewish men circumcised? Because Jewish women won’t touch anything without 20% off.

5. Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe

The year is incomplete without a dose of Charlie and his review of the year – and after it’s over Lemmy the Movie is on! Night in. Sorted. Speaking of Charlie, if you haven’t seen his extraordinary Channel 4 drama Black Mirror, you must rush to watch it on 4oD.

6. Blackadder Rides Again

There’s something satisfying about watching Hugh Laurie get punched repeatedly by Fry’s Duke of Wellington. Not because we don’t love Hugh in Blackadder 3 but because he just takes it so well. Ok, it’s a repeat, but this excellent 25th anniversary documentary is unmissable.



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