Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Xmas meanderings

Telly and Christmas. They go together like Morecombe and Wise, Dempsey and Makepeace or Pinky and Perky. Repeats of Eric and Ern at lunchtime, Noel Edmonds making old ladies cry by flying in long-lost relatives, the absurdity of anyone over thirty watching Top of the Pops (to cries of "what the hell is that?" when a modern beat combo pops up).

A "family film" in the afternoon, game shows with tinsel stuck to the sets (even though they were recorded in August), extra-long eps of 'Enders and Corrie when a long-planned storyline comes to fruition (ie something actually happens), 'specials' of comedy shows that are the same as usual but ten minutes longer, and five-minute news bulletins.

There are three highlights this Xmas for me:-

Do I need say more? The Titanic - in space! Kylie - as a waitress! David - Tennant! Champion.

I have a real soft spot for Harry Hill, and it's so good to see this always funny show finally getting reasonable ratings to match the critical success. Well done ITV! (not a sentence I type often)

No idea if this exists but I hope they've made one.

As you can tell, I was struggling for highlight #3. Maybe it's the grumpy old blurke in me but I don't like them fancying things up and moving things around at Christmas. I like long news bulletins, short soaps, Newsnight at 10:30 and that. I'll end up seeing blimmin' 'Enders at some point as it'll be on at 8.57pm. And there's no need for that.

From a worky point of view, it was always odd when we had to do Christmas specials. We genuinely recorded a gameshow in August for TX during the festive time - halfway through the ninth day of a gruelling two week shoot (5-6 eps a day), the set was covered in tinsel and out came the Santa costume. Three eps later the tinsel came off and the presenter was wishing everyone "Happy 1994"

I once had to edit on New Years' Eve, finishing at 10:30pm at Sky's barren HQ in Osterley (it's posh now but wasn't then, mainly Portacabins and huts). All my mates had gone away for NY, so I drove home on my ownsome somewhat downhearted. The show I'd just cut together was poo as well...

There is a typical Christmas-episode-happy-ending though. I thought, awww fuck it, dumped the car in central London and went and jumped up and down with thousands of strangers in Trafalgar Square as the new year dawned. I even bumped into someone I used to work with on my way back to the car and ended up partying most of the night, sleeping on the floor of someone else's incredible penthouse flat.

And the seasonal cheer continued when I saw my car (a) hadn't been clamped; (b) wasn't ticketed; and (c) had HAPPY NEW YEAR written in shaving foam on the bonnet. Well, the last one wasn't too cheery as the foam had damaged the paintwork and the words wouldn't come off properly. But the car was a £100 rusty orange Fiat and I used to have to hit the starter motor with a hammer to get it going.

No comments: