Yes I’m surprised to not see a teatime news bulletin on Christmas Day and the late one so late.
As recently as 1992, there were no news bulletins on either BBC1 or ITV before 5pm.
As they keep shifting it earlier and earlier, and the New Year version gets scheduled more and more randomly (middle of the afternoon on any old day approximately near to new year), I wonder why they keep making it, as they’ve already broken the tradition by not airing it at 2pm.
They broke the tradition a long time ago, aside from the 1990 Christmas show which was at 1.30, in the nineties they moved it earlier because the weekly show was on the slide - it was at 12.55 in 1995 and 12.50 in 1998, it didn't return to 2pm until about a decade ago. It does alright in the ratings for what it is, it pretty much always wins its slot and it has additional value in that they can recycle the performances on numerous occasions.
I was going to mention that the Christmas lectures went off to commercial TV for a period, but chose to omit it. I'm a huge fan of BBC4 and only used the term "relegated" to mean the lesser audience it would get on there rather than BBC2. It suits BBC4 very well, but also deserves as good a potential audience as can be got I feel.
Primetime on BBC4 is probably a better slot than daytime on BBC2, where they used to shuffle around all over the place. I've just looked at a random year in Genome and at Christmas 1987 they didn't even start until 4th January, and were shown at 4.30 opposite CBBC - https://www.bbcgenome.co.uk/schedules/bbctwo/england/1988-01-04#at-16.30
40 years a go, Christmas Day looked slightly better on the two main channels available.
Yes I know, rose tinted glasses, but put these schedules up against BBC and ITV now in 2019 and compare.
2.00pm Top of the Pops
3.00pm The Queen
3.20pm Larry Grayson's Christmas Generation Game
4.20pm The network television premiere of Gnome Mobile
5.50pm Blankety Blank Christmas Special
6.30pm All Creatures Great and Small
7.20pm The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show
8.00pm To The Manor Born Christmas Special
8.30pm The network television premiere of The Sting
10.45pm until 12.05am Parkinson at Christmas.
I am comparing them, and I can't tell the difference. Michael McIntyre and Strictly is the equivalent of the Gen Game and Blankety Blank, Gavin and Stacey is the equivalent of To The Manor Born, Call The Midwife the equivalent of All Creatures. You can argue that the older programmes were better, but I really think Strictly is an excellent programme, as good as anything we had in the seventies in terms of its production values, and in terms of the audience they pull in equivalent figures in real terms. Finding Dory is a much better film than The Gnome Mobile ever was, and you don't have a film in the evening but that means BBC1 is entirely new and British from 4.40 to 11.15.
And of course the Gen Game had been on every Christmas Day since 1971 and Mike Yarwood's first Christmas Day show had been in 1973, so they were equally familiar Christmas Day staples. And in addition, there had been dozens of episodes of the Gen Game and Blankety Blank during 1979. Christmas Day on BBC1 was special editions of their most popular shows in 1979, and it's exactly the same in 2019.