Partly as a bit of festive fun, and partly because I couldn’t bloody think of anything to write today, I’m handing over to old friend of Out On Blue Six Catherine Tate for more of her Fab Facts… this time on the subject of – what else? – Christmas!
- Archive TV specialists Telemusifications have recently launched an appeal to locate copies of the ‘lost’ BBC Christmas Globes aired between 1969 and 1973. A spokesman for the fans heading the appeal said that they only really knew what form it had taken for one of these years, 1972′s Revolving Eli Culbertson (recently recovered from an off-air recording retained by superfan Ian Levine), but that “they were almost certainly Christmassy and revolving; also they are the most reliable method of gauging the socio-monetarist effect of transgressive policy amendment on a post-Macmillan Britain”. Telemusifications say they have no interest in recovering any editions of Roland’s Countdown To Christmas.
- Channel 5 are lining up a special evening of classic repeats for Christmas Day, including such fondly-remembered favourites as A Christmas Slice Of Porkpie, A Very DC Follies Christmas, Christmas With The Woofits, Christmas With Threads, and the legendary Adrian Edmondson spectacular Merry Christmas You Barstard, featuring the famous ‘falling down a big showbiz staircase’ gag. BBC1 are hoping to beat them in the ratings with An Imaginatively Titled Very Mary Whitehouse Christmas Reunion Show In Pieces (And Skint Video Too), which promises exciting new gags about the Credit Crunch, the Large Hadron Particle Collider, and British Rail, while ITV are opting for A Very Strictly Family Friendly Christmas With The Stars On Ice, a big-budget extravaganza featuring John Barrowman, Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, Holly Willoughby In ‘That’ Dress, and Frankie Boyle doing his celebrated and certainly very very funny indeed and in no way involving systematic and unwarranted humiliation of a troubled individual with clear health problems for no good reason at all “as et Kerry Katona?” routine . There are currently no plans by any channel to show Roland’s Countdown To Christmas.
- My Christmas Special from last year was the second most complained about Christmas TV programme ever, after the annual scheduling of Jagged Edge on Christmas Eve in the eighties. Other moments that have memorably spoiled Yuletide family TV fun for viewers include Craig Charles being killed by The Ghost Of Christmas Past, when a soldier swore in Christmas With Threads, and Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross phoning up Noel Edmonds and calling him a ‘Telecom Tower wally’. There have never been any complaints about Roland’s Countdown To Christmas.
- Fans of Silent Cinema are planning to protest to any MP who’ll listen about the poor representation of Silents in this year’s Christmas television schedules. A statement on their official website reads “people are tired of seeing big blockbuster films, enjoyable light entertainment extravaganzas and repeats of genuinely funny stuff like the Father Ted Christmas Special that you can watch again and again and again without it ever losing any of its brilliance whatsoever, they want to see Buster Keaton Repeatedly And Affectedly Glances At A Cake For Ten Minutes Before Falling Face First Into It and That Chap Zappa!; and if they don’t then they should be forced to by law, it’s for their own good, THESE PEOPLE MUST LEARN”. An offer by ITV to repeat Roland’s Countdown To Christmas with the sound turned down has been rejected as ‘not nearly enough’.
- Popular fictitious iconic seasonal figurehead Father Christmas recently caused a storm of controversy by claiming that he doesn’t believe in Zero X, the spaceship featured in the 1966 Thunderbirds spinoff feature film Thunderbirds Are Go. When asked to explain this stance he stated that “I don’t see any evidence of its existence from a reliable online source”, and wrote ‘[CITATION NEEDED]‘ on a mint condition copy of The Shadows’ cover of the Zero X Theme. Father Christmas refused to express an opinion on Roland’s Countdown To Christmas.
- Sendhil Ramamurthy, TV’s Mohinder From Heroes, has revealed in an interview that his favourite Christmas programme of all time is Roland’s Countdown To Christmas; said the star, “it’s the one show I’d stay absolutely stock still for”.
Well, that’s enough from me for now – I’ll see you in the New Year, when I’ll be filming… well, I can’t give that away now, can I! Have a great Christmas and here’s to ’09!
ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS… it’s that classic genre-defining Kristian Schmid-favoured concept album that’s crying out for a reissue with remixes and previously unreleased bonus tracks, Bird Sounds In Close-Up! Victor Lewis-Smith not pictured…