Television generalA Day To:

Check the TV listings and highlight what you plan to watch and/or record. Make a similar plan for your favourite radio stations and highlight the programmes you intend listening to over the festive period. The Christmas Radio Times is a must – but there will be other guides on the shelves through December.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)


“Trading Places” (1983): starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis. Christmas is the backdrop to the plot of greed, ruin and revenge in this classic comedy. Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche are perfectly detestable as the brothers who put the lives of two men on the line for the sake of a one-dollar wager. Deliciously watchable whatever time of year: but especially this time of year. (Movie Magic: Eddie Murphy’s incredulous look to camera when he’s condescendingly told by Ralph Bellamy what ingredients might be found in a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.)

And pay homage to a comedy genius by watching this…

“The Royle Family Christmas Special” (1999) in which Denise goes into labour is a gorgeous blend of humour and pathos, written by the late, great Caroline Ahern, Craig Cash and Carmel Morgan. There have been six Christmas Day specials of “The Royle Family”, with 11.74 million viewers watching the 2009 offering “The Golden Egg Cup”. Ahern and Cash also star in this sofa-based sitcom, touched by observational genius, alongside the wonderful Sue Johnston and Ricky Tomlinson. Caroline Ahern was a huge loss to the world in 2016, but her brilliance lives on. (TV Magic: Dad shows his softer side for once in consoling a tearful, frightened and pregnant Denise in a moving bathroom scene full of family love.)


“The hour was now midnight and quite a bit past, but our labors, thank Heaven, were finished at last…As we gazed at our efforts through lead-lidded eyes and thought of the morrow and shouts of surprise, we prayed that the children, the morn of St. Nick’s would please not awaken at least until six!”

Richard Armour (1906-1989), American poet & author


“Merry Christmas Everyone” by Shakin’ Stevens;

“Christmas Star” by John Williams from the “Original Soundtrack to Home Alone II”;

The album “Yulesfest! – Christmas Music from Trinity College Cambridge”.


Did you know…the tradition of hanging gifts on trees is said to come from the tree-worship of the ancient Druids, who believed trees were the givers of all things good?

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: One of the delights of this time of year for me is watching the Christmas specials on television or catching some treasured re-run. And it’s about now I take ownership of the Christmas TV listings. What a joyous tradition. I like circling the television logo_166216928must-see programmes with a red felt tip and will set my recorder to capture any would-be clashes when the time comes. Thank heavens for +1 channels.

Ed Elf: Is “Elf” on this year? Please tell me it is. And it wouldn’t be the same without “Mrs. Brown’s Boys” on Christmas night. She’s a rum ‘un.

Mrs. C: There are also some wonderful radio programmes I don’t want to miss, including the countdown of the nation’s favourite carols on Classic FM on Christmas Day.

So today’s the day to:

  • Organise your Christmas TV viewing and radio listening plans – highlighting the shows you intend to watch, listen to or record.