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Christmas TV 2020

SW
Steve Williams
No harm but also no point - it's being made for the sake of being made (though isn't all television). Just as they don't revive the Grandstand brand every 4 years for the Olympics there isn't much logic here either with TOTP only having two episodes over Christmas. Now axing them is one option, but perhaps there could be an opportunity to actually rebuild the brand with new content and have the more familar occassional music specials presented under a "TOTP Presents" brand.


But what better way is there of presenting music on television than Top of the Pops? It's hardly much of a format these days, now it's no longer a weekly show - it's just a load of music performances back to back. If you're going to have pop music on television, what more effective format is there? You may as well carry on doing Top of the Pops, which has enough name recognition to be of wider interest.

I don't think anyone argues against the BBC's regular big hitters getting Christmas specials - it's whether having them all in virtually the same Christmas Day slots year after year serves the audience the best. Just cycling them in and out of the day slightly not only keeps it fresher but also helps prop up other days too, and with both Mrs Browns Boys and Call the Midwife there are surely only so many versions of the same thing you can do.


But they do move them in and out of the day, hence the non-appearance of Doctor Who for the past two years, and the arrival of things like Michael McIntyre's Big Show. And there's always a new animation, always new film premieres and always new shows, but with enough familiarity for the audience. As I said earlier in the thread too, there is I think a limited number of shows that can successfully play on Christmas Day because for many people it's incredibly inconvenient to sit down and concentrate on a TV show, and you need something that is brash, spectacular or familiar, more than any other day. I never understood the clamour for Sherlock to be on Christmas Day when that was a going concern, the chance of me being able to sit through ninety minutes of that on the 25th were minute.

And I certainly don't look back the previous Christmas being the best one. That was probably around 1999/2000 for me.


I didn't say the previous Christmas, I said the previous generation, and I stand by that. If you look at the schedules for 1999 and 2000 you see things like Auntie's Bloomers, Before They Were Famous and They Think It's All Over on Christmas Day - the latter was on Christmas Day three years running. They were all very popular but they were also incredibly cheap to made and meant a lot of Christmas Day was devoted to men behind desks. And around that period you had Changing Rooms (in 1998) and Ground Force (in 2002) on Christmas Day, which you would never get these days.

Back in 2000 everyone was grumbling about Christmas Day telly and saying you were getting shows like Changing Rooms instead of the big comedy shows of the eighties, and in the eighties everyone was grumbling that things like The Two Ronnies were still on after a million years.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)


But they do move them in and out of the day, hence the non-appearance of Doctor Who for the past two years, and the arrival of things like Michael McIntyre's Big Show. And there's always a new animation, always new film premieres and always new shows, but with enough familiarity for the audience. As I said earlier in the thread too, there is I think a limited number of shows that can successfully play on Christmas Day because for many people it's incredibly inconvenient to sit down and concentrate on a TV show, and you need something that is brash, spectacular or familiar, more than any other day

Which is why I don’t always think Call the Midwife is right for Christmas Day. Who can sit and concentrate on 90 mins of that? And it’s a solid 90 mins not one with ad breaks like you’d get on ITV.

Mrs Brown’s Boys is now incredibly tired and I’m not sure it still deserves the annual slot on Christmas Day. It’s aired in pretty much the same slot either as the only comedy or alongside another comedy for 8 years running now. (And aired on either Christmas Eve or Boxing Day the previous two years)
MU
MrUdagawa Tyne Tees London
I think Top of the Pops might work better at Christmas if they made it all about the nostalgia - new performances of old classics etc.
LV
LondonViewer London London
I liked it when the BBC would commission a one off two part drama for Xmas Day & Boxing Day.
David Copperfield. The Lost World etc.
Felt big.
GL
Gluben Anglia (East) Look East
No harm but also no point - it's being made for the sake of being made (though isn't all television). Just as they don't revive the Grandstand brand every 4 years for the Olympics there isn't much logic here either with TOTP only having two episodes over Christmas. Now axing them is one option, but perhaps there could be an opportunity to actually rebuild the brand with new content and have the more familar occassional music specials presented under a "TOTP Presents" brand.


But what better way is there of presenting music on television than Top of the Pops? It's hardly much of a format these days, now it's no longer a weekly show - it's just a load of music performances back to back. If you're going to have pop music on television, what more effective format is there? You may as well carry on doing Top of the Pops, which has enough name recognition to be of wider interest.

I don't think anyone argues against the BBC's regular big hitters getting Christmas specials - it's whether having them all in virtually the same Christmas Day slots year after year serves the audience the best. Just cycling them in and out of the day slightly not only keeps it fresher but also helps prop up other days too, and with both Mrs Browns Boys and Call the Midwife there are surely only so many versions of the same thing you can do.


But they do move them in and out of the day, hence the non-appearance of Doctor Who for the past two years, and the arrival of things like Michael McIntyre's Big Show. And there's always a new animation, always new film premieres and always new shows, but with enough familiarity for the audience. As I said earlier in the thread too, there is I think a limited number of shows that can successfully play on Christmas Day because for many people it's incredibly inconvenient to sit down and concentrate on a TV show, and you need something that is brash, spectacular or familiar, more than any other day. I never understood the clamour for Sherlock to be on Christmas Day when that was a going concern, the chance of me being able to sit through ninety minutes of that on the 25th were minute.

And I certainly don't look back the previous Christmas being the best one. That was probably around 1999/2000 for me.


I didn't say the previous Christmas, I said the previous generation, and I stand by that. If you look at the schedules for 1999 and 2000 you see things like Auntie's Bloomers, Before They Were Famous and They Think It's All Over on Christmas Day - the latter was on Christmas Day three years running. They were all very popular but they were also incredibly cheap to made and meant a lot of Christmas Day was devoted to men behind desks. And around that period you had Changing Rooms (in 1998) and Ground Force (in 2002) on Christmas Day, which you would never get these days.

Back in 2000 everyone was grumbling about Christmas Day telly and saying you were getting shows like Changing Rooms instead of the big comedy shows of the eighties, and in the eighties everyone was grumbling that things like The Two Ronnies were still on after a million years.


Sorry, I misread the bit about it being the previous generation, you’re right.

But I do think that BBC1 could do a bit better, especially when they’ve already been through those cycles and know that people in this day and age will pick up on the repetitive nature of the schedules.

It’s hard to explain, and I get the point about history repeating itself. I do miss a more full time sitcom special on the big day though. Ghosts would be perfect for that but I’m sure it won’t go out on Christmas Day.

And I don’t think They Think It’s All Over going on 3 consecutive Christmases can be compared to Mrs Brown’s Boys going for 8, or Doctor Who for 12 or 13, or Strictly for roughly the same amount. Nor do I think everyone was grumbling about schedules as much in previous decades, or at the very least they didn’t have the internet to be so vocal about it.
GE
thegeek Founding member London London
That's more than the Queen's Speech which started its consecutive run in 1970, as she didn't do one in 1969 as she thought she'd been on telly too much that year.

ahem, Steve. The Queen's Christmas Message.
Avatar credit: SMPTE RP198
commseng and Inspector Sands gave kudos
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
I liked it when the BBC would commission a one off two part drama for Xmas Day & Boxing Day.
David Copperfield. The Lost World etc.
Felt big.

Yes, I agree.

I see once again they've announced a new drama series as part of the Christmas schedule when really it'll air weekly from January.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Maybe it starts on New Year's Day? Like Doctor Who did this year - there was no special, instead they aired Spyfall part 1 on New Year's Day and then the remaining episodes on the next nine weekends.
TE
tellyblues North Reporting Scotland
Festive TV has always had its fair share of crap but in the 90s there was almost always a big film on BBC1 on Christmas night. This never happens now. I thought maybe it was to do with the Beeb not wanting to go up against Corrie and Emmerdale but they did last year with Paddington 2 on Boxing Day.
SE
Square Eyes Founding member
Festive TV has always had its fair share of crap but in the 90s there was almost always a big film on BBC1 on Christmas night. This never happens now. I thought maybe it was to do with the Beeb not wanting to go up against Corrie and Emmerdale but they did last year with Paddington 2 on Boxing Day.


There's no room for big films on Christmas night, not since Call the Midwife took 90 minutes out of the early evening schedule and pushed Eastenders to an hour around 9pm.
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
People are less bothered about "big films" now anyway seeing as they'll likely already have it on DVD/Blu-Ray if they're interested or seen it on a streaming service.
SE
Square Eyes Founding member
People are less bothered about "big films" now anyway seeing as they'll likely already have it on DVD/Blu-Ray if they're interested or seen it on a streaming service.


Yes, I agree about films.

BBC One's starting point for every Christmas Day schedule seems to be Call the Midwife around 7pm for 90 minutes and Eastenders for an hour at 9pm and it's stuck rigidly to that formula.

I know why they do it, Midwife is massively popular and usually the biggest rated show of the day and goes nicely against ITV's soap block. But when that is your starting point, and has been for about 7 or 8 years, there's little room in the schedule to do anything else on Christmas night.

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