Did we like it?
Yes it had more hits than misses so even a topless Jon Culshaw couldn’t diminish it.
What was good about it?
• The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe parody in which the kids ended up in Linda Barker’s Magical Kingdom of DFS. “I told you we shouldn’t have gone through the cheap wardrobe,” moaned one of the disappointed adventurers.
• Judge John Deed takes over the trial of Saddam Hussein. “If finding you guilty is what the fatcats of the establishment want me to do, then I’ll do the opposite.”
• EastEnders Revealed including Nana Moon (the only entry on her list of dying wishes without a tick was “Have lesbian sex with Dot”); the Mitchell brothers not sure if they’re coming or going; and Shane Richie bragging about going off to be a Hollywood star (ruefully admitting: “I’ll probably be back in two months.”)
• The version of that banned-because-it’s-too-scary talking heads promo for digital television. “Get digital TV or we’ll make an even scarier ad where we’ll turn into Natasha Kaplinsky.”
• The exposé of the soap-operafication of Dickens’ Bleak House, highlighting the staring into middle distance, the zoom noise used before close ups, the shots of people’s mouths, the sudden cuts, the scenes lasting no more than 30 seconds, the Matthew Kelly comic cameo, the EastEnders drums and the lighting (this entire series is being lit by two nightlights and a pocket torch)
• Kirsty Wark saying “My lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps” before interviewing Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley about their civil partnership. Ian loved Gerry’s crooked teeth poking out from his beard; Gerry liked Ian’s shouting; they nearly fell out over who puts out the bins; but they kissed and made up.
• The parody of the James Blunt video in which “James” sang “It’s bloody cold, it’s bloody cold, out here”.
• The Queen canvassing the opinions of passers by in Windsor on how to make her Christmas Message more appealing. She wanted to know if she should introduce catchphrases eg “Is one bothered?” “Does one’s face look bothered?” “I’m the only monarch in the village.”
• The ad for Osama Bin Laden’s stand-up comedy DVD Live & Extremely Dangerous. His material included: “There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman… and they’re all corrupt heretics who’ll roast in hell.” and “My mothers in law are so fat their burkhas have their own postcodes”. As a special offer, purchasers would also receive a free copy of Robert Mugabe’s F**k Democracy Tour DVD.
• The appeal for Tossers (The Organisation for Saving Stray Experts on Reality Shows). Best bit was the arrival of a postman at the Osbournes’ house. “Is this the Osbourne residence?” he asked. “Don’t you bring my family into it,” shrieked Sharon as she threw water in his face.
• Hogwarts School gets a visit from an Offsted inspector
• Robert Winston and Jonathan Miller making a CD called We Wish You A Rational Christmas
What was bad about it?
• The Des Lynam on Countdown sketch
• The Fiona Bruce inserts
• The mock continuity announcements lacked the usual satirical bite
• Poirot, Alan Sugar Jose Mourinho and Sven Goran Eriksson
• Johnny Vaughan’s Space Cadets launching David Cameron and William Hague into power
• Tonight with Trevor McDonald on Charles Kennedy’s assassination