Friday, 24 December 2010

Top 5 Christmas TV Specials

Another year has flown by and I've been a bit hit and miss with the top fives. Here's a suitably festive one to end the year, I'll be back in January with my end of year roundups. For now though, in the words of Shakin' Stevens, "Tis the season of love & understanding, Merry Christmas everyone!".

1. The Morecombe & Wise Show (1977) - The Morecombe & Wise Christmas specials were as much a part of our family Christmas ritual as having dinner an hour later than Mum planned and falling asleep in front of the Bond film. Difficult to single out one year but I suspect 1977 (which gained one of the largest audiences for a single light entertainment show and saw guest appearances from the Dad's Army cast, Penelope Keith and the usual array of unlikely candidates in the big dance finale) would have been my favourite.

2. A Christmassy Ted (1996) - In which Ted and Dougal get lost in Ireland's largest lingerie section and are desperate to find their way out before causing a scandle. Bumping into several other priests on the way, Ted eventually leads them to freedom and wins the Golden Cleric of the Year award. Some great moments along the way; Father Jack being left in the creche, Mrs Doyle trying to guess the name of Father Unctious with an ever more ridiculous list of Priest's names and Dougal's Matador outfit.

3. Only Fools and Horses (1989) - The Jolly Boys outing. Although it's set during an August Bank Holiday this was the '89 Christmas special and remains my favourite ever episode of Fools & Horses. The coach driver seeming to get drunk before they reach margate. The dodgy radio that actually causes this blowing up and destroying the coach. Rodney punching Cassandra's boss on the nose assuming he was up to mischief, only to find his wife is there as well. Classic Trotters.

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) - Charlie Brown strives to come to terms with the true meaning of Christmas.

5. Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) - A parody of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" this one off special saw Blackadder in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. The plot is reversed so that Blackadder starts off as the nicest man in England but, following visions of his past and future lives, ends up the conniving and self-centered Blackadder we know and love.


Friday, 17 December 2010

Top 5 Interlude - Do The Shuffle

Regular readers will have noticed the lack of top fives recently. Usual story, busy at work, busy at home, not enough time to spend doing trivial things that keep me happy. I'm planning to get a Christmas one up next week but in the meantime here's something a little different.

My friend Michelle recently passed this on to me via Facebook. Follow the instructions below and see what set of songs pops up. For me it was probably as good an indicator of my current taste in music as any of my Top Fives. I've tagged a few people via Facebook and will reproduce their replies in the comments section below. I reckon there is a Sony award winning radio show in this.

Most important rule - be honest. Don't keep shuffling forward for "cooler" songs.

1.) Turn on your MP3 player or the music player on your computer.
2.) Go to SHUFFLE mode. Hit the play all songs button.
3.) Write down the first 15 songs that come up - title and artist.
4.) If you're doing this on Facebook create your own note and choose 20 people (or how ever many you like) to be tagged. Please make sure to tag me! If you're just doing this via the blog let me know what you get in the comments box below.

Dave's 15 Shuffle tracks

01. Mojo Pin - Jeff Buckley
02. Paper Planes - M.I.A.
03. The City Consumes Us - The Delgados
04. Addicted - Amy Winehouse
05. Daddy, Daddy - The Birds
06. Hold On, Hold On - Neko Case
07. Let's Get Funky - Hound Dog Taylor & The Houserocker's
08. Serve The Servants - Nirvana
09. China Doll - Julian Cope
10. I Saw Her In A Mustang - The Vandals
11. Monkey Gone To Heaven - Pixies
12. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle - Nirvana
13. No Feelings - The Sex Pistols
14. Stork & Owl - TV on the Radio
15. Two Beads At The End - Minutemen

I'm really pleased with the results, in my head this makes me look cool, eccletic and informed. In reality most of you will either be thinking "what a rubbish set of songs" or "who the hell are the Minutemen".