|Back in Time for Christmas|
I loved Back in Time for Dinner when it was on (writeups here and here) so as you can imagine, I'm jolly excited about this. I'm not sure how much traditional British Christmas food has changed over the years, but the team behind the show rely on the menus real people recorded for each decade, so this should show us what changes have come about – perhaps different ways of doing turkey, or more bought ready-made items, or different chocolates over the years. And, more importantly still, will Rochelle have mastered the use of the tin opener? The first show covers the 1940s-1960s, and the second the 1970s-90s.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (Alibi, 20 December, ALL DAY)
Back-to-back episodes from series three. All Phryne, all day.
From Any Pandy to Zebedee: The Golden Age of Children's TV (BBC4, 21 December, 9pm)
Documentary on classic kids' TV. I hope there's some Mr Benn in there!
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (Radio 4, 25 December, 8:30am and 12:15pm)
First broadcast on radio 78 years ago, TS Eliot's cat poems return on Christmas day, reads by Jeremy Irons.
Junior Choice (Radio 2, 25 December, 10am)
For years now we've listened to Stewpot playing novelty and children's songs from the past ('Captain Beaky', 'Right Said Fred', 'My Bruvva' etc) on Christmas morning. It's ace, even if Stewpot never does play 'I Want A Hippopotamus' for Christmas any more, the rotter, and keeps playing the appalling 'Sparky'. It's wonderful for a burst of nostalgia while opening your presents.
And Then There Were None (BBC, 26 December, 9pm, 27 December 9pm, 28 December, 9:05pm)
Agatha Christie! Aidan Turner! Two of my favourite things squashed into one three-part programme. While Christie's books have been made and remade endlessly for the big and small screens, this one has never been made for telly before. I'm quite excited about it. In it, guests arrive at an island off the coast of Devon (in the book it was inspired by beautiful Burgh Island, though the stills I've seen don't look like the hotel there) and get bumped off, one by one. Who, then, is the killer? You'll be surprised, assuming you've never read the book. The cast is stellar; Turner's getting lots of attention but there's Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Sam Neill and many other famous faces too.
Murder in the Mews (Radio 4 Extra, 27 December, 4pm)
1955 adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1937 short story, with Hercule Poirot doing the investigating.
If that's not enough Christie for you, Radio 4 Extra will be broadcasting 'Agatha Christie: Speaking Her Own Words' from the author's dictaphone tapes. It's scattered throught the holiday schedule rather than being one programme, so I won't list all the times and dates here.
Jekyll and Hyde (ITV, 27 December, 6:30pm)
From dreadful beginnings this 1930s-set show has got really good. It's finishing with a double bill and I'm very much looking forward to it. Jekyll/Hyde has developed into an interesting character, and the supporting cast are interesting, rounded characters too, with a good mix of genders, ages and skin tones. I hope Jekyll and his chums don't defeat the Tenebrae too thoroughly, though, as I'd like another series. And more Hils. And a new dress for Lily because that blue ones is getting boring.
|Harry Price, Ghost Hunter|
It's not Christmas without a good ghost story, so here's hoping this is a good ghost story. It's set in the 1920s and inspired by a real-life investigator of that time. Annoyingly it clashes with the second part of And Then There Were None, so I'll be Tivoing it.
Murder on the Orient Express (Radio 4 Extra, 28 December-1 January, 10:30am each day)
It's an Aggie-packed Christmas on 4 Extra, with this five-part serialisation of a classic story.
I am not so interested in Call the Midwife (BBC1, 25 December, 7:30pm). Ditto Downton Abbey (ITV1, 25 December, 8:45pm). Babies and relationship dramas aren't really my bag, though I realise I'm in the minority there. ITV is broadcasting a tribute to Cilla Black; the lady was a British 60s icon, but I doubt I'll be watching that either. Are you looking forward to watching or listening anything in particular?