Thus it was that with 1973’s trial run for the Winter Of Discontent hovering on the horizon, the man in the mirrored top hat decided he was having non of yer namby pamby glumness and with the aid of an old unfinished Slade song, an Harmonium borrowed from John Lennon, and some raucous shouting from the corridor outside the recording studio, crafted TV Cream’s Official Favourite Christmas Single Of All Time. With its you’re-going-to-Church-instead-of-playing-with-Stop-Boris opening, Glam Rock-refracted take on time-honoured Christmas preparations, droll Peter Kay-trouncing observations on having your relatives round for dinner, and ludicrously crowbarred-in pun on the band’s name, it’s more or less a three minute musical encapsulation of Christmas Like It Used To Be In The Cream Era, when cheap-and-cheerful crackers jostled for emblematic status with garish Glam-esque decorations, ITV sitcom specials, and Rowntree Macintosh selection boxes with those big chunky stylised snowmen and spiral-eyed reindeer on the front. As Cream-era clarion calls go, they don’t come much more iconic – or indeed much louder – than Noddy Holder bellowing “IT’S CHRIIIIIIIIST-MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS”. And, frankly, it never really is Christmas until you’ve heard it.
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Back on the right channel, the Beeb are certainly going to town with it by presenting a whole day of programmes, and even co-opting Saturday Kitchen into proceedings like Cup Final Swap Shop. With the 5.30 kick-off, though, we don’t actually get onto the match in question until around four o’clock and before that it’s the Wembley scene including at five past two a new episode of TOTP2, we think the first time an episode of this series has debuted on BBC1 in its twenty plus year history. You can probably guess the kind of thing we’re going to get and presumably much of it will come from that momentous episode of Pops from 6th May 1982 when Spurs, England and Scotland all performed in the studio, which we can’t wait for BBC4 to get round to. And they surely must!
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Points of View
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- In 'Life and Loves of a She-Devil, The', Barbersmith says: "I recently saw the repeat of this. It really is Christ-awful. Tom Baker does one of the worst drunk scenes ever seen, and the..."