With Christmas fast approaching, ALISON GRAHAM looks ahead to some of this Yule's telly treats, as well as one or two turkeys not even fit for leftovers.
As Time Goes By - BBC1, 7pm, Christmas Eve
Long-overdue catch-up with Jean, Lionel and the gang in the wonderfully-scripted hour of delightful gentle comedy. 5 years on from where we left them, Jean and Lionel are growing old as ungracefully as ever! Jean goes into a flat-spin when Judith, Alistair and adopted son Ngfy come to stay after their house is flooded, and bring chaos with them! Meanwhile Lionel must face some harsh realities of growing older when he finds Jean's supply of Tena Lady.
Funny, wonderful, moving.
French and Saunders - BBC1, 9pm, Boxing Day
Big girls everywhere rejoice! F&S are back with another of their jam- (and cream- and chocolate- and naughty-) filled Xmas X-travaganzas! Love or loathe the girls, you'd be hard-pressed and heartless not to agree that Christmas just wasn't Christmas last year without Dawn and Jen on the box. This year sees their superlative spoofing skills applied to Mulholland Drive, Oldboy and, in a hysterical, inspired twist, the Vicar of Dibley! Make sure to stay tuned until the end for the outrageous surprise in store for Dawn when she enters a "Fat Girl Win a Kiss with George Clooney" competition!!
Guest starring George Clooney, Roland Rivron
Jools's 73rd Hootenanny - BBC2, 11.45pm, New Year's Eve
Yeah! Yeeaaaah! This is the stuff! Forget going out with friends on New Years Eve, and paying ￡50 for a pint and coming home as fat, miserable, lonely and pug-faced as ever! Jools is here, so you needn't go anywhere! Kick off your shoes, in fact, and have a whirl around the carpet accompanied by Jools's boogie-woogie piano and your cat on its hind legs! This year's musical guests include the incomparable Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the incomparable Amy Winehouse (let's hope she turns up, and hasn't had a drink!), the incomparable Go! Team, and the incomparable Billie Holliday. Meanwhile, Jools will be joined in the studio by a selection of celebrity friends (including Jonathan Ross and Jane Goldman, Roland Rivron, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and Roland Rivron), relaxing in a casual way which almost makes you feel that you might be equal to their greatness.
Pre-recorded in March
Africa-misery has a time and a place, and that place is Red Nose Day! Not even a bit of snow or tinsel here. Bah humbug! (Note to mums and dads: don't be fooled by the early start time - NOT one for the whole family!!)
Christmaswatch - BBC2, 6.30pm, nightly
Fuck you, Bill Oddie. Cunt.
With subtitles for the hard-of-hearing