Thursday, December 21, 2006

A choice of viewing

Ahead of your declaration to nobody in particular at about teatime on the 28th that "Christmas telly's been really rubbish this year, hasn't it?", here's our thumbnail guide, leaving out the music channels as they're far too complicated and volatile, and all the rubbish repeats, to a fortnight of pop on the box and wireless. Let us know if we've missed regional variations:

Saturday 23rd December

10.35am Popworld (Channel 4)
Is that still going?
6.30pm God Gave Rock And Roll To You (Channel 4)
This sounds both ace and disturbing, as our friend on the National Health Dr Robert Beckford examines the relationship between religion and music, from hymns to Kanye West, apparently.
7pm Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan (Radio 2)
Here we go, then, as Zimmerman's themed shows for Sirius satellite radio come for a quick Radio 2 recce before finding a weekly repeat home on 6 Music. The first show, broadcast in May, was about the weather, featuring Muddy Waters, Dean Martin, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Garland, Lord Beginner, Fats Domino, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and the Carter Family among others.
7.30pm Whatever Happened To Gareth Gates? (ITV)
People weren't really aware he'd gone anywhere yet, ITV. You can only justify this marketing spiel if it's the first in a series and by March you're onto Whatever Happened To Billie Myers?
7.40pm TOTP 2 Christmas Special (BBC2)
Go on, guess what they'll pick out. Still, the annual sighting of the Greedies' A Merry Jingle, can't be all bad.
8pm Norman Jay's Soulful Christmas (Radio 2)
9.10pm Ghosts Of Christmas Past (BBC2)
A standard BBC2 personal experience seasonal filler, here because of footage of "the historical 1977 Christmas Day party held by the Sex Pistols for children of striking firemen". The what? Where's our copy of England's Dreaming gone? (Actually, where has it gone?)
9.30pm Stars in Their Eyes Celebrity Special (ITV)
Not a Christmas special, but remarkably there's still someone going on to do Shane McGowan. Even more remarkably for prime-time Saturday night ITV, it's Mark Radcliffe.

Christmas Eve

1.05pm Girls Aloud (Channel 4)
Live And Lovely is the subtitle, but we're not demeaning ourselves to include that in the proper heading. It's one of their Wembley concerts, anyway.
4pm Radio 1's Chart Show (Radio 1)
The Christmas number one revealed by radio's premiere annoyances.
4.30pm Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan (Radio 2)
The theme is motherhood, the playlist includes Randy Newman, Merle Haggard, the Rolling Stones and LL Cool J. That's LL Cool J. When's someone going to repeat Stevie Van Zandt's Underground Garage properly?
5.45pm Duet Impossible (BBC1)
Good god, music television hits new levels of indecency, even if this has clearly been thrown away in this slot after someone had one look at the finished product, as technology allows heroes of today and yesterday to perform together as if sharing a stage. As one of those featured is Eva Cassidy and the only known footage is that sepia-tinted Over The Rainbow clip it'll be interesting to see how Katie Melua gets shoehorned in, but at least that makes sense on inspirational and competitive grounds, unlike Roy Orbison and Westlife, Lulu (cf the 2002 chart comments) and Marvin Gaye or Dusty Springfield and the Sugababes.
8pm The Story of... Fairytale Of New York (BBC3)
First shown last Christmas, the song everybody now affects to have hated all along gets one of those BBC3 Stories Of... that they should commission more of where the producer takes apart the original mastertape and the band describe the creative process.
9.30pm Never Mind the Buzzcocks Bumper Edition (BBC2)
Can't be arsed with a proper Christmas special edition, then? The much improved under new management series gets 45 minutes with David Gest, Dan Gillespie Sells, Danny Jones of McFly and The Actor Kevin Eldon.
12pm Radio 2's Christmas Chillout (Radio 2)
Not an idea anyone surely expected Radio 2 to take up, but here's Chris Coco playing little known seasonal songs, followed at 2am by Sally Rodgers doing much the same.

Christmas Day

7am Phill Jupitus (6 Music)
With Bobby Gillespie! Not live, then.
9am Wogan's Christmas (Radio 2)
11am Gordon Ramsay's Perfect Christmas Lunch (Radio 2)
Ah, Christmas morning on Radio 2. Wogan does the usual pre-record whimsy followed by a full meal cooked in real real time for, yes, celebrity guests.
1pm Dolly At Christmas (Radio 2)
Paul Sexton, whoever he is, takes a sedate journey to Dollywood to allow Parton to play her favourite records and tell festive anecdotes.
1pm Amy Winehouse (6 Music)
Bringing the Christmas tradition of the easily sozzled distant relative to the airwaves.
2pm Top Of The Pops Christmas Special (BBC1)
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without it and that, but surely there's brand awareness and then there's just doing this sort of thing for the hell of it. Get the aunties round the telly so the whole family can settle back in time for The Automatic.
3.07pm Mark Lamarr (Radio 2)
A nigh-on unmissable annual treat as Lamarr, who will actually be live in the studio, moans about the traffic and plays obscure reggae Christmas songs.
4pm Jo Whiley Meets Dr Who (Radio 1)
Cross-media alert as Jo goes on set in Cardiff and, it says here, fights Daleks. No call for that level of interaction, surely.
7pm U2 R1 (Radio 1)
Good to see the hour's worth of documentary brought back to Radio 1, not so good that it's a whole hour of Bono.
7pm Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan (Radio 2)
If they end up playing these out of order we'll all suffer for it. This one's about drinking, which obviously means Splodgenessabounds and Star Turn On 45 (Pints). Oh, no, Loretta Lynn, Charles Aznavour, Hank Williams Jr, the Andrews Sisters and John Lee Hooker.
8pm Steve Lamacq's In New Music We Trust (Radio 1)
All four shows in the preposterously monickered strand get a two hour special this week.
8pm The Charles Hazlewood Christmas Show (Radio 2)
Everything Hazlewood does is unmissable, and just for the concept of a West Country-themed celebration concert with Mica Paris, Seth Lakeman, Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and some children this might well be much the same.
8pm 6 Mix Christmas Special
It could easily go very wrong, as before the actual mix section Super Furry Animals are messing about with friend Rhys Ifans.
9pm World's Greatest Gigs (More4)
Live Aid number one, we think Elton John with John Lennon's near the back of the order, quite a bit else inbetween. We doubt all the voters were at all the gigs.
10pm Ricky Gervais Meets... Christopher Guest (Channel 4)
"You can't dust for vomit. Scotland Yard doesn't have the facilities."
10pm John Peel's Perfumed Garden (6 Music)
What remained in private hands of Peel's final Radio London broadcast in 1967 was recently cleaned up for broadcast, and here's a two hour wodge of the five and a half hour full show.
10.15pm Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (More4)
Some kind of poll winner, apparently. Why not this back to back with Guest?

Boxing Day

7am Phill Jupitus (6 Music)
The best guests of the year, featuring the Pet Shop Boys, Paul Weller, Lily Allen, Noddy Holder and the Manic Street Preachers.
10am Mark Lamarr (6 Music)
And then he pops over here for three hours of completely off-beam tracklisting of the year's songs.
10.25am Bugsy Malone (BBC1)
You need no other musical film.
4pm Jo Whiley Presents Radio 1's Band Of The Year (Radio 1)
A three hour top 40 countdown about which we can but worry.
7pm Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan (Radio 2)
Onto baseball, which'll translate well, including Ry Cooder and Billy Bragg & Wilco.
8pm The Ultimate Cliff Top 20 (Radio 2)
When Children In Need did this poll a couple of years ago Move It pissed it, which was fairly ungallant in the circumstances.
10.30pm Paul Merton (Radio 2)
Doing a week's stand-in.
11.40pm The Story of Light Entertainment (BBC2)
The really good history series from the summer is getting this year's BBC2 Christmas Late Repeat Run honour, and this is the programme about the history of pop on telly.

Wednesday 27th December

11.05am T4's Hits of The Year (Channel 4)
Performances from T4 and Popworld that you'll have seen in other live forms in many other places.
4pm Jo Whiley's Live Lounges Relived (Radio 1)
Ooh, is it an acoustic-toting 'indie' band doing a R&B cover by any chance?
7.30pm Celebriy Mastermind (BBC1)
The start of a series of one-offs features Kelli from Liberty X, who's answering questions on 'pop music'. Well, there's a neat small subject.
9pm ABBA: Thank You For the Music (ITV)
This month's ITV ABBA documentary is a clips show with the added, um, bonus of "Liz McClarnon performing specially recorded sections of songs from Benny and Bjorn's early mini musical, The Girl With The Golden Hair".
9pm The Most Annoying People of 2006 (BBC3)
People who present, produce and commission shows like this.
10.30pm Imagine - The Beatles In 'LOVE' (BBC1)
This Cirque du Soleil thing doesn't seem to have become th major cultural highpoint they seem to have been expecting - indeed a lot of the press for the album seems to have ignored it completely. As this might, interviewing what remains of the Beatles estate.

Thursday 28th December

1pm Edith Bowman's A To Z Of Driving Anthems (Radio 1)
Small beer today, the best we can do being this concept which makes us wonder how they'll tackle X. Go on, play Radar Love.

Friday 29th December

11.35am Greasemania (ITV)
As we say we're ignoring a lot of repeats, but given this one's presented by Amanda Holden, is tied in to the 2003 25th anniversary of the film and features Gareth Gates, Darius, the Cheeky Girls, S Club 8, Lisa Scott Lee, Suranne Jones and Jonathan Wilkes it might be unmissable.
1pm Edith Bowman's A To Z Of 2006 (Radio 1)
5.40pm The Weakest Link (BBC2)
The singers and dancers special, featuring the undeniable attractions of Chico and Alexander O'Neal.
5.55pm High School Musical (BBC1)
Disney's made for TV modern musical isn't not the new Fame, of course, as Fame broke through all media as opposed to Daily Mail pieces that are actually soppier than the storyline. The only reason kids seem to like it here is because they fancy one of the leads!
7.30pm Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1)
Featuring Scott Mills on Prisoner Cell Block H - look, either admit you're no better than DLT or fuck off - Bernie Nolan on Sinatra films and Iain Lee on the Monkees
9pm The One and Only Michael Jackson (ITV)
Apparently more definitive than the last definitive Michael Jackson profile with the usual rentable family members (Jermaine, Latoya) and an odd selection of opinion formers including Smokey Robinson and Jeffrey Daniel. That'll be the old moonwalk argment, then.
1.45am The Best of The Album Chart Show (Channel 4)
Beck, The Kooks, Kasabian, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Lily Allen and Primal Scream enjoy a good crash zoom.

Saturday 30th December

10am Popworld (Channel 4)
10am Top 100 Singles Of 2006 (6 Music)
As voted for by you. Actually, we did put our vote in, just in case.
6pm The 1Xtra 2006 Mix Tape Awards (1Xtra)
Mixtapes are odd things when you think about it, only available on the streets and mythologised more than Led Zeppelin to people least likely to hear them. Somewhat defying their intrinsic underground nature, Lupe Fiasco presents the results of a poll for the year's best.
6.20pm Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1)
Matthew Wright covers Frank Zappa. He can if he wants to.
10.15pm Careless Whiskers: The Unseen George Michael (Five)
You can tell from the title what direction this is going to go in, especially as the blurb highlights "some of George's closest former confidantes". Andrew? Is that you?

New Year's Eve

1pm Love (Radio 2)
George, Giles, Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia all present and correct, the only difference now being Robert Lindsay's doing the presenting.
1.40pm Take That: The Ultimate Tour (ITV)
The Manchester date from last year's tour. Isn't the word 'ultimate' meant to convey a sense of finality?
2pm Q on 2 (Radio 2)
Quincy Jones talks about his life and achievements in detail with that noted hard edged journalist Jamie Cullum.
2pm Stuart Maconie New Dawn Freak Zone (6 Music)
5pm Eddie Piller's Northern Soul Party (6 Music)
Could they not have job swapped for the occasion?
7pm The Biggest Indie Disco Ever (6 Music)
They say that, but... This year's participants in the actually not like a proper disco at all as everything's backannounced: Jupitus, Coe, Lamacq, Maconie, Robinson, Kershaw, Natasha, Nemone, Dickinson, Collins, Holmes, Of Noize and Howard. Er, Russell Howard, that is.
9pm The 2006 Fame Review (Channel 4)
Here's cleverness, as someone's actually been counting up how many column inches celebrities have achieved over the year. How will they seperate Pete and Kate? Surely the former will get the edge based on his actual day job?
9pm Spice Girls: 10 Years Of Girl Power (Sky One)
Julie Burchill - but of course - gets in about a year too late on supposed reunion fever. That trail went cold, didn't it?
10pm Boy George's New Year Boogie Nights: Live (Radio 2)
We're guessing he'll be advised to go on a retro tip.
10pm Robbie Williams: A Close Encounter (Sky One)
Live in Leeds on that tour that seemed to somehow precede Rudebox by a month or two, making mincemeat out of all those ideas about careful global strategies.
10.50pm Jools's Annual Hootenanny (BBC2)
With Paul Weller, Sam Moore, Amy Winehouse, Ray Lamontagne, Madeleine Peyroux, Marc Almond, James Morrison, Adrian Edmondson, Lily Allen, The Kooks and the Zutons. And Rowland Rivron somewhere along the line.
11.30pm New Year Live (BBC1)
The usual celebration from the centre of London, including Jamelia, the Feeling and, intriguingly, Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Who's the designed driver in that household tonight?
12.50am Beyonce Live at the BBC (BBC2)
This slipped by with barely a mention a month or so ago - Beyonce plus band outside TV Centre.
1am All Singing All Dancing All New Year's Eve (Radio 2)
Ah, here's Maconie's new year Northern Soul portfolio.

New Year's Day

10am Gideon Coe (6 Music)
The best of the year's acoustic sessions for the show, featuring Joan As Policewoman, José González, Lloyd Cole, Neko Case and Evan Dando.
2pm The Great British Battle of the Bands (Radio 2)
Someone thought this was a good idea at some stage. Mark Goodier presides over a battle between five British bands to determine the greatest of all, with celebrity backers and whatnot.
7pm Radio 1's Tips For 2007 (Radio 1)
For six hours! It's not going to be that much of a watershed year!
7pm The Record Producers (Radio 2)
Continuing the series, Nile Rogers discusses his work behind the console and dissects choice pickings from the Chic mastertape archive.
9pm Most Shocking Celebrity Moments of 2006 (Five)
Apparently featuring famous people shockingly "climbing trees, bursting into tears, dancing like robots, stripping off, starting fights and getting married all over the place". Dancing like robots? Peter Crouch? How was that shocking?
9pm Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan (6 Music)
Oh, god knows where they're now going from with this.
9.30pm Mark Lamarr's Alternative Sixties (Radio 2)
There are tribes in Borneo who acknowledge how great Lamarr's Radio 2 shows are, so we must welcome back one of his many themed efforts.
10.30pm The Mark Radcliffe Show (Radio 2)
The best studio sessions of the year.

Tuesday 2nd January

11.30am My Wizard (Radio 4)
John Aizlewood wonders how prog rock became the movement that dare not speak its name.
7pm The Zane Lowe Show With Ricky And Nick Kaiser (Radio 1)
Zane usually goes back to New Zealand for weeks on end at the start of the year, so Radio 1 have booked three weeks of celebrity replacements to bring in records and generally banter. Editors on Wednesday, Young Knives Thursday.
8.30pm Berlin... Soundz Decadent (Radio 2)
Mark Radcliffe narrates a documentary about David Bowie's German sojourn and the resultant career high water mark, and doing much the same for Iggy Pop in his spare time. Bowie, Eno and Tony Visconti discuss Cold War artistry.
9pm Just The Two Of Us (BBC1)
This is the celebrities doing duets with singers series, which this time includes in the latter category Sarah Brightman, Tony Christie (of course), Carol Decker, Marti Pellow, Jocelyn Brown, Natasha Hamilton, Beverley Knight, Alexander O'Neal and Russell Watson, and in the former Janet Ellis and eight people you've never heard of.

Wednesday 3rd January

8pm Celebrity Big Brother (Channel 4)
Come on, there's bound to be at least one housemate of interest. Hopefully for all our sakes, not too close an interest.
10.30pm The Old Grey Whistle Test Story (BBC4)
11.10pm Whistle Test Years (BBC4)
11.50pm Whistle Test Years (BBC4)
Not sure whether these are repeats or not, as BBC2 showed a set of year by year Old Grey Whistle Test compilations the other year but there was talk of a fresh set being produced. In any case, a documentary is followed by the best of 1971-72, including Lindisfarne, David Bowie, Wishbone Ash, Steppenwolf and the Beach Boys, and then 1973, featuring Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Who, John Martyn, the Average White Band, Ry Cooder, Alex Harvey and Rory Gallagher.

Thursday 4th January

11pm Whistle Test Years (BBC4)
11.40pm Whistle Test Years (BBC4)
1974 brought us Tim Buckley, Captain Beefheart, Dobie Gray and Graham Nash; 1975, Little Feat, John Lennon, Jackson Browne and Lynyrd Skynyrd. And then obviously they continue from here on in.

Friday 5th January

8.30pm Soapstar Superstar (ITV)
Welcome to the new year proper.


ian said...

Zane usually goes back to New Zealand for weeks on end at the start of the year
Any chance that it could be arranged that the fuckwit stays there?

Brig Bother said...

What sort of a name is "Duet Impossible" anyway? Is it meant to be a clever play on words or something? Or what?

Al Shabaz said...

Jermaine has caused national controversy by openly praying his obligatory five time prayers live on national TV. However Channel Four the Broadcaster has censored any footage of the Former Jackson Five practicing his faith. Outraged muslims have begun to complain on grounds of fair representation as Shilpa Shetty was broadcast practicing Yoga, they are demanding an explanation from Channel four as to why Jermaine Praying has been censored. Complaints to Ofcom the body that adjudicates media complaints are set to flood in this monday. Jermaine has begun to attract many thousands of muslim votes.

Izzy said...


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