When I was a kid, Christmas was all about the nation sitting down as one and watching telly. Is it still like that today? No. There are too many channels, too many choices and too much shit. Could it be that I am just becoming a grumpy old bastard who thinks that everything was better when I was a kid? Again, no. Objectively, all Christmas telly was much better in the ’80s. It’s basically been downhill ever since Band Aid to be honest. Luckily for you, I’ve drawn up the perfect schedule of classic Christmas TV from the golden age of Christmas TV, all of which is available for you to watch on YouTube this Christmas Day.
6am The Christmas Raccoons
Animated classic in which Cyril Sneer tries to demolish a massive wood for developers. Some woodland friends gang together to stop his greedy, Reaganite scheme. A life-affirming and prophetic treatise on the housing crisis that engulfs us today.
7am Noel’s Christmas Presents
This show was a staple of Christmas mornings on the BBC from the mid-’80s to the late ’90s. It also started the trend for TV shows about ordinary people with supposedly extraordinary stories to tell. But ordinary people are fucking boring, aren’t they? You’re surrounded by the bastards every day in real life. Why, you probably are one yourself. So why the hell would you want to switch on your telly after a hard day’s work to see more of them? You wouldn’t. I should resent Noel Edmonds for starting all of this patronising nonsense. But Noel is Noel. A man so Christmassy he was named after the French word for Christmas. Christmas telly without Noel is like Christmas lunch without them sausages wrapped in bacon: pointless.
2pm Top Of The Pops, 1984
Very much the best Christmas TV show of all time. Loads of balloons and an audience of lovely girls with blonde perms dancing to Wham!, Duran Duran and Band Aid. Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you, because in Africa not only do they not have snow, they didn’t have Top Of The Pops either.
4pm EastEnders Christmas Special, 1986
Ange had been lying to Dirty Den about having terminal cancer. He found out and served her divorce papers on Christmas Day. An entire nation was completely discombobulated by the sheer insanity of Ange’s actions and Den’s sadistic vengeance. Like all soaps when they’re at their best: utterly ludicrous bollocks.
6pm Only Fools And Horses
The one where Del Boy falls through the bar, obviously.
8pm The Spy Who Loved Me
The best James Bond film ever. 007 is skiing down a big mountain, getting shot at by evil Soviets whom he escapes by jumping off a cliff, his Union Jack parachute billowing above him. Cue Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better, and a sudden sense that perhaps Brexit won’t be so bad after all.