Pass the remote – it’s the Christmas season

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For approximately 360 days of the year, yours truly watches little to no television.

Aside from the odd reality TV show here, and sporting fixture there, Stevie-the-TV, as he’s affectionately known in our house, is resigned to the red standby button, occasionally turned on to provide a little background noise in the evening or to fill the odd minute of free time every other weekend.

Over the Christmas period, however, things change.


For those few precious days, one doesn’t have to feel guilty about parking themselves in front of the box, moving only to change the channel or for necessary comfort breaks.

There’s no guilt about leaving the housework for a day or two, no worry that you need to get to bed at a reasonable hour for an early shift in the office.

No, the only concerns are how close the box of chocolates is, and whose turn it is to go to the fridge and crack open another bottle of bubbles.


Waiting for the announcement of the seasonal TV schedule has become as traditional as putting up a tree, wrapping presents, and trying to stuff an over-sized turkey into the bottom drawer of the freezer.

Complaining that the big hitters are ‘showing nothing but repeats... again’ (a whopping 63 per cent of programmes being shown this year have been aired before) is also part of the fun.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a few foul smelling sprouts and a bumper edition of Only Fools and Horses.

This week, the wait was over.

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all gave us a sneak preview into what we can expect on the big day itself, after Top of the Pops and the Queen of course – another two traditions that remain in place whether you want them to or not.

And I have to say, one doesn’t envisage too many arguments over which channel to choose this year.

While there are no big surprises – a couple of sickly-sweet seasonal specials during the day followed by soaps and the likes of Call the Midwife and Downton (which this year will be set at Christmas – hurrah!) – there is, in this viewer’s humble opinion, a decent enough schedule to keep my lazy bones on the sofa from morning until night.

Just pass the remote...