It's BrokenTV's Telly Yule (B)Log: Day One

  • 12/01/2007 06:02:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

As it's Christmas Month (or if you insist, December), we've not only spent a while Xmassing up the image at the top of the blog, but we've also gone and set ourselves the task of posting an update about Christmas telly every day until the 24th of December.

(READER'S VOICE: "Like an advent calendar? But isn't that pretty much the same as what the excellent DigiCream Times are doing? They're much better than you, bignose.")

Gah. We'd thought of doing an advent calendar, but because we're all about the new and original ideas, we're not going to copy what they're doing. No, what we've got is an advent yule (b)log. That has twenty-four doors on it. And a Christmas telly thing behind each door.

(READER'S VOICE: "That doesn't even make any sense.")

Oh, hush. The chances are, we'll give up before the halfway mark, or just end up posting the results of us typing the words "Xmas" and "TV" into YouTube. But that sort of lackadaisical attitude is at least a week away, so for now we're going to take a look at a Christmas tape.

Now, let's open door one of our... thing that isn't an advent calendar.

DAY ONE: ATV's 1977 XMAS TAPE (YouTube link)

(READER'S VOICE: "Everyone already knows about Christmas tapes, and more people have seen White Powder Christmas than last year's festive edition of EastEnders. ")

[BrokenTV pokes reader in eye with pencil.]


Indeed, everyone who could possibly want to has seen White Powder Christmas and it's follow up Good King Memorex, and it'd be nice to hope that the late 1970s tapes from other TV companies were of a similar not-technically-very-entertaining-but-certainly-interesting standard. And surely, what with it being an ITV region, you'd certainly hope that with all the money their unions insisted Lew Grade give them, the ATV VT department would have a treat in store.

The tape gets off to a fairly standard start, as the classic ATV and ITC logos kick the tape off, but with the soundtrack of the 20th Century Fox in the background in a pre-digital ramshackle manner. An ATV announcer bids us welcome, and we're into an archive programme promo from 1973. "'73 is ITV!" chirrups Voiceover Man, and suddenly we plummet into the first of the three types of 'joke' that there are in Christmas tapes. We're going to point them out using occasional bullet points, so they're easier to spot.

CHRISTMAS TAPES JOKE ONE: Playing the soundtrack to something "normal" over footage of some rubbish soft-core pornography.

Yes, as we're told to expect "the friendliest programmes" we see a woman with large breasts pretending to do some sex. As we're invited to watch "the biggest stars", we see a woman with large breasts juggling them around on a stage. And so on. Boo! We want to see Shaw Taylor saying "arseholes" or something.

Ha ha, nuts. Like a man's testicles! We get that joke!

A quick cut to the proper ATV logo, only for a member of (we assume) The VT Crowd bursting through it while pretending to be Leo, The MGM Lion. This is what we want from our thirty year old videotaped in-jokes. But no, we're treated to another montage of soft-grot clips. At least we now know what all of those union-negotiated massive pay increases were spent on, eh?

Luckily, Mr Announcer Man is back to chastise the editor of the tape and set us back on the right path. So, we get a shot of Lew Grade looking slightly uncomfortable at an award ceremony, a reconstruction of the launch of the BBC, and a special 1970s headfuck version of the ATV ident.

Sadly, this promise is not lived up to. After something that looks like it's going to be a brilliant shot-for-shot remake of the titles for The Muppet Show starring members of The VT Crowd, we're back to clips of rubbish porn and excerpts from commercials that look slightly rude. Which we'd better provide a snapshot of, just to placate the self-touchers who are inevitably now going to find this site through a Google search for "large breasts".

Of course, we're only going to post a shot of something
that won't get our account cancelled

That's pretty much par for the course for the remainder of the tape. There is an offensive bean-based poem by someone who might be a local news reporter, and an impression of Statler and Waldorf by a couple of spuff-obsessed VT chaps (on the actual Muppets set, mind), and that's your lot. Not very impressive, all in.


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