80. Xmas

Tapehead no 80

Apart from EastEnders and Arthur undergoing a rude awakening in prison, reliving some of the more unappealing moments form Scum (in the greenhouse – appropriately enough for the man behind the Flowering Wilderness campaign) Christmas TV is a veritable avalanche of so-called Christmas “specials.”

For Tapehead’s money, the pick of them is clear.

“Whatever Christmas means to you, there’s no doubt it’s a magical time. And we’d like to share some of that magic with you tonight. Nine guests to share with us not only their singing but their thoughts and feelings as to what Christmas means to them.”

Yes, as Matthew Kelly confirms, “It’s a time of gifts and mince pies/It’s time for the Christmas Stars In Their Eyes.”

First up is a woman who wants to be, and is probably meant to be, Ronnie Spector, but actually looks more like the spectre of RuPaul. Then some loony does Alice Cooper as Ebernezer Scrooge – an ingenious way of disguising the fact that he sounds, and looks, nothing like Alice Cooper (or Scrooge).

A couple of desperate theatre actors do a duet between kd lang and Andy Bell of Erasure, which suggest, if nothing else, that Stars in Their Eyes is developing a sick sense of humour. (Enough Is Enough is about right.) Sadly, “kd” is so much bigger than the real kd they could have been Yazoo impersonators from a previous episode.

The bloke who looks like Michael Bolton certainly has the same haircut but even he can’t quite muster the necessary level of atrocity. He more than makes up for his with his un-missable (unlistenable) rendition of White Christmas – or “Wer-Height Cra-her-ser-mas”, as he calls it:

“Where treetops ge-liss-hay-ern/And children ler-hiss-hay-urn.”

Spend a little time on Christmas Day, thanking the Almighty that you don’t look like Michael Bolton.

Knowing Me, Knowing Yule is of course the Alan Partridge Christmas Special (“Ah-ho-ho-ho”) and reputedly the great man’s last appearance.

As such, it includes AP begging the new Chief Commissioning Editor at the BBC for a second series. 

(“Knowing You, Tony Hayers – Jew; Knowing Me, Alan Partridge – Jew-liker !”)

We see AP giving Christmas present to stick children, and touring the local shops.

“It’s at times like these, browsing amongst electrical goods at Tandy’, that I know who I am. I’m Alan Partridge.”

The guest that proves to be his downfall is a wheelchair-bound golfer.

“Your story is a fairy story,” Partridge grins. “So Gordon Hansel and Liz Gretel, allow me, if you will, to be Hans Christian Alanpartidgeson.”

The set, he is at pains to point out, is an exact replica of Alan’s real home – “But don’t bother taking that as an invitation to go out and burgle my actual home, as happened six times last series,” he warns, explaining that he has a bloke from Securicor and two Alsatians waiting.

“In fact, do bother. You’ll be picking up your teeth with a broken arm. You people are scum. Let’s meet…the Bell-ringers of Norwich Cathedral.”

Tapehead trusts that, like Mike Read in EastEnders, at the very least, Alan will turn up every Christmas.

The Eurotrash Christmas Special makes a rather token contribution towards the festive spirit with an item covering the World Santa Games (a sort of Superstars of Santas that includes events such as Chimney Descending and Beard Quality).

Things deteriorate somewhat with methane farted Christmas carols. 

And, for anyone needing any last minute mail-order presents, Channel 4 thoughtfully takes a look at an Italian shopping channel hosted by a transsexual and specialising in porno. (Ho-ho-ho).

The season of good will to all men goes further on Channel 4, extending as afar as a mass orgy organised by Sergin and Engie, two porn-stars-cum-aerobics teachers.

Eurotrash confirms the end of the dominance of the Pirelli or Playboy calendar, announcing the advent of a great new calendar featuring animals’ arses.

Good to see that Channel 4 are going in to the New Year as they mean to go on.


EastEnders: 7.30pm, Mon; 7.30pm, Tue; 7.30pm, Thu, BBC1

Stars In Their Eyes Christmas Special: 8.15pm, Sat, ITV

Knowing Me, Knowing Yule: 9.40pm, Fri, BBC2

Eurotrash Christmas Special: 11.05pm, Fri C4