TV

Acceptable in the 80s – plotting your return to the peak era of Christmas TV

From Top of the Pops to Eastenders and The Spy Who Loved Me, Sam Delaney gifts you a Christmas Day tele agenda from the golden age. You're welcome

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm18PEL6NQo

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kyQauA2udc

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.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Rebus star Richard Rankin on TV reboots, defying his late dad's advice and getting his arse out
TV

Rebus star Richard Rankin on TV reboots, defying his late dad's advice and getting his arse out

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on friendship, TV and saying goodbye to Inside No 9
TV

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith on friendship, TV and saying goodbye to Inside No 9

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson on hope for Ruby Sunday and lessons learned from 'magical' Ncuti Gatwa
TV

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson on hope for Ruby Sunday and lessons learned from 'magical' Ncuti Gatwa

Marge starts a union and fights for workers' rights in powerful new episode of The Simpsons
TV

Marge starts a union and fights for workers' rights in powerful new episode of The Simpsons

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know