TV Cream

Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… December 1982


Friday, 24th December 1982

PICK OF THE DAY

8.40pm CHRISTMAS WITH TERRY AND JUNE, BBC1
Featuring our heroes on baubles in the opening titles, obviously. If you’ve got your Christmas sitcom cliche spotter’s guide to hand, here are the items you need to tick off: randy middle-aged men at the office party (bonus points for a reference to the girls “from accounts”); plain middle-aged women hoping in vain for a spot of lust under the mistletoe; the boss inviting himself round for Christmas dinner; the boss falling asleep during the Queen’s Speech; playing charades after Christmas dinner (bonus points for a comical misinterpretation); a reference to a “foreign film on BBC2” and, of course, a set of dicky fairy lights. In short, everything we demand from a festive sitcom special.

ALSO SHOWING:

11.05pm RUSSELL HARTY, BBC2
During the 1980s, it became something of a BBC2 family tradition to nip round to Russ’s country cottage on Christmas Eve for some star-encrusted conversation, fireside entertainment and nostalgic reflections on Christmas in the “North Country”. The guest list for tonight’s soiree included a gaggle of Russell regulars, such as Diana Dors, plus Victoria Wood and Julie Walters, Bryan Robson (although our favourite Harty encounter with the world of football remains the time he flew over the Vatican in an airship with Trevor Francis) and, rustling up the canapes, bow-tied old-school culinary maestro, John “Entertaining On A Plate” Tovey.


8.45pm THE STANLEY BAXTER HOUR, ITV
For the last decade, the great man had been the face of Christmas on ITV, but this was to be the last Baxter bran-tub for the light channel, henceforth deemed too expensive by the LWT mafia (his shows were costing £500,000 a pop by this point). Inevitably, the line-up included a lavish recreation of Brideshead Revisited, a report from “Alan Whicker”, and the traditional high-kicking homage to the golden age of Hollywood. The next time we’d see Stanley on telly at Christmas, by the way, he’d be promoting the merits of the new Acorn Electron (“it’s as fast as a business computer and it has a real keyboard!”).

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Eugene

    December 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    There is also the possibility that they stopped letting Stanley Baxter have his show because it wasn’t funny…

  2. Glenn A

    December 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Possibly, Eugene, his Christmas Day shows on ITV, while well made and quite entertaining, didn’t stand a chance against BBC One and were usually preceded by a dull, un festive film like Young Winston for over two hours, so most people had abandoned ITV for the night. Moving him back from the big day could have helped, but at 500 grand a show, LWT thought Stanley Baxter was too expensive, and they could make far more from something cheap like Game For A Laugh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

"Brian's Binatone is great for his cassettes!"

To Top