Christmas TV Programme and Movie Highlights 2014 at DVDfever Towers are as follows.
Saturday December 20th
Rik Mayall: Lord of Misrule (BBC2, 10.05pm) gives a tribute to the comedian who died aged 56 earlier this year.
Expect clips from The Young Ones, Kevin Turvey, MP Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman, Richie in Bottom, plus Lord Flashheart in Blackadder. Narrated by Simon Callow, there’s rare and unseen archive footage. Contributors include Michael Palin, Simon Pegg, Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Alexei Sayle, Christopher Ryan, Tim McInnerny, Jools Holland, Ruby Wax and Greg Davies.
And Lord Flashheart appears in Blackadder II: Bells, which is on just before this at 9.35pm.
Wanderlust (C4, 11.15pm)
Why? Because it starts Jennifer Aniston.
After George (Paul Rudd) is downsized from his financial firm and Linda’s (Aniston) depressing documentary is cancelled, they can no longer afford their overpriced ‘micro-loft’ in New York. They find themselves with just one option – to pack up their lives and head south to move in with George’s brother and his wife. George and Linda stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community where the only rule is to be yourself.
Dross on the night includes a Strictly Come Dancing Final (BBC1, 6.30pm), a censored Mission Impossible (C4, 6pm) and tax dodger Lewis Hamilton on The Jonathan Ross Christmas Special (ITV, 10pm)
Sunday December 21st
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (BBC2, 4.30pm)
Yes, it’s a repeat but it trumps whatever else is on. In “Learning to Fly“, Frank’s grandfather offers to pay for flying lessons so that Frank can help on his Australian sheep farm. Betty doesn’t think it’s a good idea, nor does the flying instructor, once he has met Frank.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (BBC2, 8pm)
A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik’s vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.
Directed by Lasse Hallström, I’m less fussed about Ewan McGregor, but I do like Emily Blunt and Rachael Stirling 🙂
Gran Torino (C5, 9pm)
Yes, it’s from 2008 but it’s still a premiere! Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) sets out to reform his neighbour, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.
Dross includes The Apprentice Final (BBC1, 9pm), Men in Black 3 (C4, 7pm) and a cropped-to-16:9 Unforgiven (C5, 11.15pm).
Monday December 22nd
Brian Pern: A Life in Rock (BBC2, 10.30pm)
The final part of the 3-part second series of a spoof documentary following ageing rock star Brian Pern (Simon Day), former frontman of of the progressive rock group Thotch. The final episode of the series follows Brian as he records a charity Christmas record in aid of bi-polar polar bears. Brian’s health problems come to a head when he discovers that he has invested millions in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme and the HMRC want their money back. This isn’t going to be a Merry Christmas.
Gadget Man’s Guide to Christmas (C4, 8pm)
Richard Ayoade presents an indispensable guide to how to improve Christmas with gadgets. Aided and abetted by guests including Jonathan Ross, Stephen Merchant and Adam Hills, Gadget Man offers a surreal and funny guide to the best gadgets around – to help do the Christmas shopping, survive the winter weather, cook Christmas dinner, and even wrap presents. Richard uses a robot to help him shop in London’s West End. Reece Shearsmith helps test gadgets for surviving snow, fog and long nights.
Robert Webb pitches in to tackle the horrors of a Christmas market, including technology to turn your smartphone into a breathalyser, and a pitch-shifting karaoke machine to improve your carol singing. And Jessica Hynes assists as one of Richard’s tasters for his Christmas dinner, prepared and served using the latest gadgets.
Cinderella (BBC1, 4pm)
Yes, it’s taken 64 years, but the 1950 Disney movie finally gets a premiere!
Dross includes Would I Lie To You (BBC1, 8.30pm), John Bishop’s Christmas Show (BBC1, 9pm), The Wrong Mans (BBC2, 9pm) and Derek: The Special (C4, 10pm).
Tuesday December 23rd
Man Down (C4, 10pm)
I love this show and it’s such a shame that Rik Mayall won’t be in any more as he excelled as Dan’s father.
Christmas is coming, the turkey is getting fat… and, in this case, alarmingly aggressive. Greg Davies writes and stars in this seasonal special of the critically acclaimed sitcom. After a difficult year, Dan is convinced he has turned his life around only to meet a Christmas thorn in his side in the shape of his aunt Nesta. He and his two faithful friends Jo (Roisin Conaty) and Brian (Mike Wozniak) quickly discover that a farm is not their natural habitat. Also featuring Gwyneth Powell as Dan’s mum.
Dross includes Christmas Specials for Fifteen To One (C4, 8pm), 8 Out of 10 Cats (C4, 9pm) and a past-its-best Mock The Week (BBC2, 10pm).
Go to page 2 for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.