But first, to be contrary, lets spend a couple of paragraphs on Christmas telly.
But first, to be contrary, lets spend a couple of paragraphs on Christmas telly. Has Outnumbered (Christmas Eve, BBC 1) finally outstayed its welcome? It felt like it – the words from the mouths of babes joke lost a lot of its edge when it became abundantly clear that Ben’s voice had broken.
Did the BBC really think a double dose of Mrs Brown’s Boys (Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, BBC 1, then repeated on the 29th) would have the UK chuckling into their mince pies? If there is a more appalling attempt at humour on TV, I’ve yet to see it. And I watch ITV 2 a lot.
Why was there an outcry at someone dying in Downton (Christmas Day, ITV1) Soaps regularly kill off characters on Christmas Day but they’re not allowed to in a period drama? It’s set in the 1920s – they’re all dead really if you think about it.
And to New Year’s Eve and the Top of the Pops New Year special (BBC 1). Is there really no place on the BBC for a weekly Top of the Pops? Forget the nonsense about MTV killing it, and the growth of YouTube – how can the BBC really argue it doesn’t have room for a programme to celebrate music every week? Especially when they film three hours of the One Show each week.
So to 2013, and what better way to look ahead to the next 12 months than to find a TV channel which is showing its best TV programmes from the last 30 years? CITV – the children’s part of ITV which was spun off into its own satellite channel about six years ago.
It’s the one gaping gap in the digital TV world – a TV channel dedicated to old children’s TV programmes. DVDs of old children’s programmes fly off the shelves of HMV as fathers try to teach their youngsters about Dogtanian, Jimbo and the Jet Set and Dangermouse. YouTube is chocker-block with episodes of Superted and Bananaman yet on digital children’s TV channels like Nickelodeon, they pad out the day with back-to-back Peppa Pig.
TV myth has it that the BBC has always owned children’s TV, and that may have been true in the days of Andy Pandy and Bill and Ben. And until I read the schedule of programmes CITV plans to put out this weekend, I thought it was true of the 80s too.
Press Gang, the newspaper run by teenagers; Children’s Ward (you can work out that one for yourself) and Knightmare, a kind of The Cube set in a medieval cyberspace – before the word, cyberspace not medieval, was invented – they all get dusted down this weekend.
And then there’s the ones many have forgotten, like cartoon series The Raggy Dolls – as close to a representation of real life as you’ll find in the reject bin of a children’s toy factory – and T-Bag, an incredibly random drama about a green-faced witch packed with characters whose names all seemed to be puns on, well, tea. And Fun House, a Haribo-fuelled quiz show set in a softplay centre, and Woof, about a boy who turns into a dog.
For children everywhere, this is a glimpse into a past they’ll never fully experience – until I get my way.
Oh sure they don’t make them like they used to when it comes to kids TV. But then again, we never used to complain about people being killed on Christmas Day TV, either. And we never, ever, laughed at Mrs Brown’s Boys.