I promise I won’t write about Christmas and nothing else as we move from December towards the moment of the year where we can all get away with eating to much, trying to look pleased at crap presents and watching television.
I’ve written a little bit about food, in a way that works with the premise of this blog – by talking about a new BBC site dedicated to Christmas food.
Now I’m going to talk about the mass of brilliance (and some of the chaff) that will be shown across the BBC television network in the last two weeks of the year.
If I can find anything worth pointing out I’ll cover the other channels in a post next week – but for now here is Aunties festive delights.
In one line I’ve noticed there’s some seriously brilliant looking new drama, a combination of old favourite and newly charming comedy, cartoons, Shakespeare and a few instanced of David Tenant.
Nan will be visited by a number of Christmas spirits
But that’s not all, I’m nowhere near done yet – in addition we’ve got Victoria Wood with a mid-life christmas filled sketch show, boys dancing, a bit of costume drama and the usual mass of Christmas specials.
For the Christmas specials there will be Gavin and Stacey, Outnumbered, Eastenders, My Family and more. Add opera, Steve Coogan, dancing and even more costume drama.
Even CBBC and Cbeebies are in on the whole Christmas special series with David Tenant reading a bedtime story, Justin from Gigglebiz as a panto dame introduced by Chris Evans and a story about children finding a glass bottle on CBBC.
There are a couple of Casualty specials, the day of the Triffids, Top of the Pops at Christmas AND New Year, more toys from James May, Three Men in a Boat going to Ireland and yet more costume drama.
So lets look into what’s coming up in a bit more detail – starting with the kids stuff.
But first here is a video that will tell you a lot more than I can hope to – even though I’m still going to give it a go.
Back to the mass of text.
For those of you without pre-school children, Cbeebies bedtime stories is basically famous people coming into the Cbeebies studio and reading a book at the end of the day in the ‘Bedtime Hour’.
The Christmas one will see David Tennant read a book about a Bear Cub who leaves his parents to go exploring on Christmas eve. In fact the soon to be former Doctor Who star will read a total of five books during the festive season.
Moving back a bit to CBBC and their Christmas highlights include a drama called ‘Ingeniuous’ that baiscally tells the story of 11 year old Sally and friends who find a magical genie in an old bottle.
And the CBBC sketch show, I’m Sorry I’ve Got No HEad, featuring Marcus Brigstocke, David Armand and Mel Giedroyc among others doing stupid things to make kids laugh.
A little bit more Grown Up
BBC Three is going all dance mad on the run up to Christmas with ‘Balletboys’, a new version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring making the 100th anniversary of the Ballet Russes – dance groups from all styles across the UK coming together..
There’s a film combining documentary and peformance form the Balletboys – Michael Nunn and William Trevitt.
And, something they’ve been trailing heavily – the final of Move Like Michael Jackson where dance acts get the chance to show their skills as they attempt to give some of Michael Jacksons dance moves a go.
Shakespeare and more
Patrick Stewart in the RSC production of Hamlet
BBC Two will be showing The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet starring David Tennant.
However, it isn’t a straight filming of the stage show – this is a recreation of the stage production for television but with the same cast and crew as the stage show.
If you’ve watched the preview above you’ll see that this looks set to be something spectacular with both David Tenant AND Patrick Stewart.
High profile stuff
On BBC One there are some pretty big high profile dramas and they’re not all old fashioned costume dramas either.
There’s a couple of Casualty Christmas specials which are always good for a cry or two, there is of course the costume stuff in the form of Cranford but there’s also a new version of Day of the Triffids.
This new version of a classic will see Dougray Scott as Bill Masen and his team of survivors attempt to battle back the horror of the Triffids in their rapidly breading push to consume a newly blinded humanity.
There are two episodes of Doctor Who on Christmas Day and New Years Day that see the 11th Doctor under David Tenant make his final journey and come into contact with his psychotic nemesis.
There is John Simm, David Tenant, Bernard Cribbins, Catherin Tate, Timothy Dalton, June Whitfield and more than a few Ood.
Eastenders goes all melodramatic for Christmas as usual Gavin and Stacey will probably be pretty funny as they enjoy a holiday on the beach in Essex and what will be the real highlight in my house – The Gruffalo.
It may well have at one time been the construct of a scared mouses over active imagination but that creature from the deep dark wood with his terrible claws and terrible jaws is much loved in the Morrison household.
The the BBC is bringing the magical tale of the mouse and his nut to BBC One for Christmas complete with voices from Robbie Coltrane, James Corden, Helena Bonham Carter and many more.
There will be costumes aplenty in Cranford and other dramas
In fact here is the breakdown of who will be playing who in this most wonderful of children’s tales.
The Gruffalo himself will be played by the giant Robbie Coltrane, Mouse by James Corden, Mother Squirrel by Helena Bonham Carter and Owl by John Hurt.
But that’s not all Tom WIlkinson will be playing the charming Fox and Rob Brydon gets to play the cold hearted eating machine that is Snake. Glorious.
Comedy Christmas specials and drama
Back to normailty (or as close to normality as Christmas gets) and we’ve got Holby City, impressions from Culshaw and Stephenson the end of the series for Merlin another Christmas special for the Harper Family in My Family (set in 2039).
There’s a Christmas special for one of my favourite comedies of recent years – Outnumbered, more from The Royle Family, a series finale for Spooks a bit of Strictly and yet more costume drama.
The costume drama in question though is ‘The Turn of the Screw’ a ghost tale starring Michelle Dockery and Sue Johnston – adapted from Henry James’s novel of the same name by Sandy Welcch who also adapted Emma and Jane Eyre.
And of course a Christmas classic that, in my opinion should be all year round – Top of the Pops – presented by Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates.
It was filmed at Television Centre, featuring performances from the biggest stars of the year and the all important Christmas Number 1.
Not that Christmas number one is particularly important given that it will either go to a charity record or the bloody X-Factor).
So there you go, Christmas television highlights from the BBC (might put them all in to a Google calendar if I get time) for the last two weeks of the year.
And to finish here is an attempt by me to write the worst piece of not particularly poetic verse I can to some up some of the stuff in the post.
Who goes for two as the Master returns
Coltrane gets tusks in the Gruffalo
As Nan does Dickens in Christmas never heard
Justin from Beebies plays a butch bird
My Family is in the future
Outnumbered watch a play
The Royle Family goes on a trip
Then Gavin and Stacey play away
Eastenders make you scream as cheer disappears
Casulaty and Holby have the cues of Christmas fear
Culshaw plays the parts as costumes get worn
Christmas on the BBC, something for one and all
I mentioned a week or so ago that I was planning a Christmas special of my Jersey new music show – well I did it, I recorded it, I filled out the compliance form, it was broadcast and now it is on the iPlayer.
Here is the playlist
Christian Jegard – Walking in the Air
Black Stats – Bright Lights
Joe Richardson – Frosty The Snowman
Seven Story Down – Ring Out Wild Bells
Rivers – Take Me Home
Valentines – Don’t Get Me Arrested For Christmas
Will Robinson – Christmas Wishlist
Kevin Pallot – Do They Know It’s Christmas
The Music Room – Mad Christmas Mix
Lafaro – Feel Good Hit of Christmas
Hedley Le Maistre – Lost in St Mary
You may have noticed my blogging has been a little on the sparse side recently – there are many reasons why I haven’t been blogging much and they’re all boring and mundane.
I’d like to say I’ve been off fighting an intergalactic war on behalf of the British Govenment or that I found Bin Laden working behind the counter at McDonalds in Watford – but I haven’t.
So lets just move on.
One of the things I HAVE been doing is preparing for the BBC Jersey Introducing Christmas Special. This is the first Christmas for my show and I’ve decided to do something different.
Originally I was just going to record an ordinary show – a few tracks from Jersey bands, an interview and a package of some kind.
But I’ve now decided to record a Christmas special with Christmas songs recorded by Jersey bands – either their own tracks or their take on a classic.
I’ve got my first two – a recording of Walking in the Air with Christian Jegard in the style of the Moldy Peaches/Adam Green and a punky track from the Valentines called Don’t Get Me Arrested For Christmas.
There are many more to come as well – what I’ve not decided is what to do between the songs.
Do I sit there and just introduce them, press play and move on or do I get the bands to record some kind of Christmas message?
What about getting a couple of local poets to come up with a Christmas verse of some kind to slot between the bands – keeping my chatter to a minimum?
I’d love your feedback.
Oh and my page is now live on /programmes with the iPlayer page due to go up tomorrow.