It's interesting how Noel fell out of favour with BBC TV after House Party crashed because Christmas Presents didn't return after 1999 either, and when it returned in 2007 it was on Sky instead. You'd think as an annual show it wouldn't suffer from people getting bored with the format and trying to revamp it every 5 minutes.
I think by that point the relationship between Noel and the Beeb had broken down - I actually remember being quite surprised that Christmas Presents appeared in 1999 when it was now his only show on the Beeb. Just after House Party was axed he did do another series for the Beeb in the summer of 1999, The World Of The Secret Camera, which was a compilation of funny clips from around the world - I remember Noel promoted it as being the ultimate survey of the genre - but it didn't do very well and I think the general reaction from the public was "Hasn't he gone yet?".
The reason people including myself side with noel over those "producer" and "Director" is because he stood up and said yes there a problem,
Well, maybe, but why make it so public? It's like when Chris Evans did that big rant on his show about how much he hated Trevor Dann and slagging off a newspaper story about him - all very interesting to people who knew who they were, but of absolutely no interest to anyone else. I don't want to hear internal arguments dragged out into the public. If the presenter of the show is saying it's rubbish, why watch?
Noel also had way more power than the producers, he was the face of the show. And it's easy to say Noel was the only one doing anything but that's because he was the only one blabbing to the papers. We only ever get one side of the story. What if Noel was the problem himself? It's like when Paul O'Grady shoots his mouth off on telly about something he doesn't like, whoever he's slagging off never gets the right of reply.
I always thought the cinema one was pretty neat. To cut into the middle of a film with live TV was, as I remember, well executed.
I did always wonder how a 4:3 SD picture that was cropped to a letterbox must have looked projected on a cinema screen. I'd have thought it would have given the game away but maybe only to people who are on this forum.
Can't find it on YouTube would like to see if it still holds up.
As I remember Noel had his back to the camera. And there was an actress who says "we need Dave Smith (or whatever his name was)", "but where can we find this man". Noel then turns to the camera and says "he's in seat M8 down there". Or something like that.. I think that's pretty good!
I remember reading that they had planned the interruption to sync with thirteen different moments in the film, and they'd actually reached the thirteenth before they were able to do it. It was very clever, but there were times around then when they seemed a bit in love with the logistics of the thing and the actual victim ended up as a complete spare part and by the time they'd explained and done the hit, that was the end of it.
It reminds me of William Phillips in Broadcast talking about the short-lived flop ITV hidden camera show Red Handed - where the gimmick was that instead of having a presenter there would be a camera in the control room and we'd see the crew making decisions over what would happen next - and saying "like too much light entertainment, it thinks the audience cares about its machinations".