You only had a handful of channels but you had to make sure you had enough video tapes to capture all you wanted to see, cause there was bound to be two things on at the same time nearly every day from before the 25th right through to the New Year. A Peter Kaye style scan through the Radio Times was required to plan your festive viewing.
But now with more channels than anyone really needs, if there was only “13 channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from” (Pink Floyd “Nobody Home”) and there is bugger all on worth watching never mind going to the bother of taping.
Well I should correct that, nothing new worth watching as the best day of festive telly was, surprisingly on one of those new channels (ITV3) but certainly wasn’t new – a full day of “Rising Damp”.
Nowt better than hours of Rupert Rigsby’s classic lines and facial expressions in the only decent sit-com ITV have ever come up with, well it was from Yorkshire. How they made & broadcast this classic when nearly everything else they produced was crap like “On the Buses” will stay a mystery.
But as it seems viewers out there’s idea of televisual entertainment was the highest rated show on the 25th “The Vicar or Dribley”, followed by dim bint soaps, it looks like Chrimbo telly won’t be getting much better in the years to come. I suppose when Dribley only gets about 10m watching they’ve got the prefect reason not to bother. Remember the days when Eric & Ernie would get get over half the nation watching?
So just repeats of classics like Steptoe & Son, Likely Lads *, Rising Damp, Porridge etc to look forward to.
Along with Rigsby there was the Likely Lads film which along with all films taken from classic 60s/70s TV comedies gets a crap write up and rep.
But you can’t beat lines like –
Terry Collier: “I’d offer you a beer, but I’ve only got six cans.”
Terry Collier: “Oh Chris, I can’t stand saying goodbye like this.”
Christina: “You really mean that?”
Terry Collier: “Yeah – you finish packing, I’m going to the pub.”
And when after being useless at playing bridge Terry goes out to relieve himself you can hear the stream his girlfriend, Christina, apologises only for Thelma to reply –
“It’s alright. It’s the first time all night I’ve known what he’s got in his hand.”
One other thing that did make me laugh was the thought of how fast Mary Whitehouse would be spinning in her grave as C4 showed the great “Life Of Brian” just seven days after Chrimbo day 😆
And thinking is that little twat from Mediawatch, Mary’s friend Beyer a stereotype on purpose. I mean if any actor is portraying a nosy, uptight, repressed little killjoy what voice do they do but the one this sad little creature uses on a daily basis to interfere with people’s lives.