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Markymark6,519 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Quote:
The BBC may have, as usual, dominated this year's ratings - but traditional TV viewing on Christmas Day is falling significantly.

Ten years ago, Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death was watched by an overnight audience of 14.3 million people. That's more than double the number who watched this year's highest rated programme, The Queen's Christmas Broadcast


To be fair though, BBC One this year was the weakest it's been for years. The fact that Liz dominated (multi channel or no) says a lot.

People wouldn't turn to VOD services on Xmas Day if the content on linear TV was good.


I remember the 70’s, when my grandparents insisted that Christmas Lunch had to be completed and everything packed away such that we could watch HM at 3pm in reverence!

TV defining Christmas Day in UK homes was probably a only a phase that lasted 30 to 35 years, and peaked in the late 70s early 80s ?
Gluben554 posts since 15 Jan 2004
Anglia (East) Look East
The big gaping hole was Doctor Who - no matter what you say, the Christmas Day episode usually gave a good feel to BBC One, bit of energy and anticipation in my opinion. This year without it, the whole energy of Christmas Day on BBC One was very low.

The BBC for 2019 should order Chris Chibnall to write a Christmas Day episode once again. We now know the reason he decided to push it to New Year's Day was that there would be at least one new Doctor Who episode in 2019, with the next series not due to air until early 2020.


To be fair, it’s obvious why they did it, since they’ve pretty much exhausted all Christmas scenarios after 13 years, and some of them just weren’t that good anyway. It needed a change.

I agree that there needs to be more comedy. My golden year for comedy was 1996. They may not have all been on Christmas Day but you had Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley, Father Ted, The Fast Show and Shooting Stars. This year, you had...Mrs Brown’s Boys and that’s it really. Additionally, it’s fallen into the OFAH habit of having no full series for over 5 years. Like other shows in the schedule, it just does Christmas on auto-pilot.

General entertainment is also a good thing and Michael McIntyre had the right idea, but it’s a bit stale now, as is Strictly Come Dancing which unfortunately I don’t see ending even when it’s past its prime.

It’s a catch-22 really. I’d love a refreshing Christmas Day schedule but the BBC will never do that because, despite falling ratings, as long as they claim the majority of the top 10, if it works, it works.
Steve Williams2,654 posts since 1 Aug 2008
The BBC for 2019 should order Chris Chibnall to write a Christmas Day episode once again. We now know the reason he decided to push it to New Year's Day was that there would be at least one new Doctor Who episode in 2019, with the next series not due to air until early 2020.


"Ordering" writers to make programmes for specific slots and days is hardly an effective way to encourage creativity. I don't know why they had to ensure there was an episode in 2019, if it doesn't appear for a calendar year, so what? Episodes should appear when they're good and ready, rather than rushing them on screen just so they're there. Otherwise you end up with something like the Royal Flush episode of Only Fools at Christmas 1986 where John Sullivan didn't really have time to write it because he was doing Just Good Friends so they churned it out incredibly quickly and it was awful.

I don't know why there has to be X number of episodes of Who a year, no other show is made like that. The episodes of Luther this Christmas are the first since 2015 - and if anything there is more anticipation and excitement because it's been a while. Sherlock is another example. The argument seems to be that kids lose interest in Who when it's not on but surely they just watch the old ones over and over again? They certainly do that with the Harry Potter films and the like.

Mrs Brown's Boys as a sitcom has well and truly been drained dry of all new material. It is now in the process of going through the motions. Brendan thankfully decided not to do anymore series, and just as well, sticking to Christmas specials helps to keep what new material he has. The new material he does have does not amount to much.

Does anyone know how his "For Facts Sake" did? I never watched it, but heard from people it was poor.


It was an enormous flop, I think it went under a million at one point - and it was in primetime, not after the news. A spin-off too far, really, and it reminds me a bit of Broadcast looking at the stuff Nick Berry was doing when he was on a golden handcuffs deal with ITV, which hadn't been very successful, and concluding "perhaps people only like that face under a helmet". Seemingly people only like Brendan O'Carroll in a dress.

As for the specials, you could argue that confining it to specials could be to the show's detriment. On my old stomping ground of Offthetelly my friend made an interesting point about the final few years of Only Fools and Horses, specifically the 2002 special, in that because there was now only one a year, it got to the stage where every episode needed to feature Mickey Pearce, Denzil and the like, regardless of their relevance to the plot, which made the episodes all too bloated as they all had to do their bits of business. Whereas if they'd done a full series, there'd be less requirement for everyone to be in every episode and so the episodes wouldn't have to shoehorn in characters for the sake of it.

The same may be the case with Mrs Brown - because they only do two a year they need to have all the cast in it regardless of whether they have any new jokes or plots to do with them, plus it always has to have the bits with the tree and so forth, and inspiration can start to run dry quicker than if you'd just done a proper series which can do anything.
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DE88 gave kudos
Neil Jones5,130 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
The BBC for 2019 should order Chris Chibnall to write a Christmas Day episode once again. We now know the reason he decided to push it to New Year's Day was that there would be at least one new Doctor Who episode in 2019, with the next series not due to air until early 2020.


I think what you meant to write was "should ask [nicely via a polite request and the act of waving some money around] ... to write a Christmas day episode again" as opposed to what you've written which implies Stalin is alive and well.
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BM11825 posts since 2 Jun 2017 Banned for 1 week
London London
It did very poorly, below 2m towards the end I believe.

It was also on after the news, not a good slot?

Nope. It was on at Monday's 21.30.
Many jokes are needed for All Round to Mrs Brown where most of the characters appear and there are segments which could have been used as plots for episodes.
Andrew13,478 posts since 27 Mar 2001
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)

As for the specials, you could argue that confining it to specials could be to the show's detriment. On my old stomping ground of Offthetelly my friend made an interesting point about the final few years of Only Fools and Horses, specifically the 2002 special, in that because there was now only one a year, it got to the stage where every episode needed to feature Mickey Pearce, Denzil and the like, regardless of their relevance to the plot, which made the episodes all too bloated as they all had to do their bits of business. Whereas if they'd done a full series, there'd be less requirement for everyone to be in every episode and so the episodes wouldn't have to shoehorn in characters for the sake of it.

The same may be the case with Mrs Brown - because they only do two a year they need to have all the cast in it regardless of whether they have any new jokes or plots to do with them, plus it always has to have the bits with the tree and so forth, and inspiration can start to run dry quicker than if you'd just done a proper series which can do anything.

It’s even worse than that with Mrs Brown as they have gone to the effort of pointlessly recasting Rory after the original actor left, despite the fact all he does is pop in, sit at the table for two minutes and exchange some camp one liners.
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Joe6,486 posts since 9 Oct 2005
Meridian (South) South Today
I agree that there needs to be more comedy. My golden year for comedy was 1996. They may not have all been on Christmas Day but you had Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley, Father Ted, The Fast Show and Shooting Stars. This year, you had...Mrs Brown’s Boys and that’s it really. Additionally, it’s fallen into the OFAH habit of having no full series for over 5 years. Like other shows in the schedule, it just does Christmas on auto-pilot.


You've just compared a list of shows that 'may not have all been on Christmas Day' with the list of shows that were on Christmas Day. Hardly a fair comparison!

Let's try again:

• Upstart Crow
• Click and Collect
• The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan
• Not Going Out
• Mrs Brown's Boys
• Would I Lie To You?
• QI

I don't think all of these are from BBC One, but it's a better comparison. That's also alongside Christmas repeats from the archive, and a whole raft of stuff on iPlayer, seasonal or otherwise.

I take the point that Christmas scheduling is a little different to years gone by, but one can't deny that there's now more choice than ever before. There are still big programmes to get excited about (Torvill and Dean, the Midnight Gang and the ABC Murders were big talking points amongst my friends and family) and if none of those suit, there's a barrage of things old and new on demand. We've never had it better!
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Steve Williams, tightrope78 and 2 others
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JKDerry1,453 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
The BBC for 2019 should order Chris Chibnall to write a Christmas Day episode once again. We now know the reason he decided to push it to New Year's Day was that there would be at least one new Doctor Who episode in 2019, with the next series not due to air until early 2020.


I think what you meant to write was "should ask [nicely via a polite request and the act of waving some money around] ... to write a Christmas day episode again" as opposed to what you've written which implies Stalin is alive and well.

Chris Chibnall admitted he moved the Christmas Day edition to New Year's Day because he did not want to leave the fans with no Dr Who in 2019. Originally they said they could not think up of anything Christmassy or festive and that was the reason for the move to New Year's Day =- that turned out to not be true, as Chris admitted later of why the move took place. Who is "Stalin" there?
UKnews774 posts since 26 Apr 2011
Not forgetting the Michael McIntyre show - more entertainment that ‘just’ comedy but it got a decent audience.

Likewise I hope those watching ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ enjoyed it, not for me but I throughly enjoyed ‘Would I Lie To You?’ and I’m sure I will ‘QI’ when I catch up with it.

We still have comedy programmes that appeal to various tastes. Complaining that it was all better 20 years ago is exactly what my parents where doing in the 90s when I was throughly enjoying ‘Father Ted’ or ‘They Think It’s All Over’. That said, I’m glad they introduced me to Morecambe and Wise, still partial to some one of their specials at this time of year.
VMPhil9,426 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
My golden year for comedy was 1996. They may not have all been on Christmas Day but you had Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley, Father Ted, The Fast Show and Shooting Stars.

I was also thinking this week how 1996 seems to have been a particularly good year for comedy specials in terms of them still getting repeat showings at Christmas. The Vicar of Dibley and Father Ted both got repeat showings this year, not just on the likes of Gold or More4 but on their original channels (BBC One and Channel 4). Though The Vicar of Dibley is slightly more carbon dated to 1996 with references to the Spice Girls and Oasis. And of course the well-received Only Fools trilogy was that year too.