SO HERE it is, Merry Christmas . . . but did someone forget to tell the soap script writers?
Can there be any other profession in the world where mention of the word Christmas prompts discussion about not turkey or goose this year, but whether to opt for a jilted bride or a plane crash?
In EastEnders, we have the never-ending saga of “who’s sleeping with Kat?” (a poor man’s whodunnit if ever there was one) mixed in with the planned wedding of Tania and Max.
In Coronation Street, it’s the wedding of Nick and Leanne on a knife- edge while Fizz edges closer to death’s door (that’s stored up for New Year’s Eve). Over in Emmerdale, they’re perhaps just glad it’s not raining planes. Not that that is much of a consolation for the lad locked in a box as a new serial killer emerges.
Yet, amid all the high- jinks drama served up on the soupiest of soup spoons to us, there’s one programme which proves that sometimes real life can out-soup all art . . . and without a single punch being thrown.
For reasons best known to the BBC, it chose to air Loving Miss Hatto on Sunday evening, at 8.30pm.
A good slot, granted, but hardly the pick of the festive show times and, to my mind at least, it more than competed with many of the other heavily-promoted shows airing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Loving Miss Hatto is based on the true story of William and Joyce Barrington-Coupe, who pulled off one of the best- known (apparently – I had no idea about it until the end credits explained what happened in real life) frauds the classical music world had seen.
Pianist Joyce Hatto (as she was then) meets would-be music agent William in the 1950s, and he promises to make her a star.
A series of well-meaning, but all the same devastating, promises fall through and Joyce ends up failing to reach her potential.
That disappointment and bitterness in Miss Hatto festers for some 40 years, while in her husband, William, a sense of having failed his wife echoes on just as much.