Television and Christmas go together like chestnuts and open fires. Not that I’ve ever tried roasting chestnuts on an open fire: I only have the option of a gas cooker. Where, no matter how carefully I prick them, there are always a few that explode – making anyone in the vicinity jump, and blasting bits of nut and shell about, to make a fine mess to clear up.

Television. Christmas. Back to. Not many decades ago, it used to be a choice between a handful of channels, vying for the top spots in the ratings. Then, technology and enterprise changed all that and offered the choice of hundreds of channels, mostly showing repeats of repeats of repeats, or things we don’t want to watch even once.

I think it was around the 1990s that reality TV took off in the UK (bit vague on that, and can’t speak for anywhere else). I have some serious theories about the various factors that led to that, and to current circumstances that continue to make some of them popular. But this isn’t a sociology essay. This is about Christmas television.

It’s way too late for this year, but I have some ideas for next, based on the king and queen of British reality shows: The Great British Bake-Off, and Strictly Come Dancing. Along with some other big-hitters, like The X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, etc.

Christmas television suggestions

Strictly Come Lancing.

Soap actors from medical dramas learning how to drain real boils. All the ‘eugh’ factor of eating bugs in the jungle for viewers to enjoy, without any personal hardship for the cast.

The X-Tractor

Beauty show for farm machinery.

The Great British Undertake-off

Haven’t quite thought of the rules yet, but a competition to plan funerals would be novel.

The Eggs Factor

Let’s face it, all TV talent shows are as much about the back-story of the contestants as their ability to sing. The formula is wearing thin. Clearly, a show where the audience could throw eggs at performers would be cruel. Though no less so than shows where people with zero talent are filmed and broadcast in the audition rounds, purely for viewers to laugh at.

The Great British Snowflake-off

‘Snowflake’ has become a lazy word of abuse in online debates, a way to sneer at someone else’s views. This show would reclaim the word, with rounds for Best Snowball, and Best Snowman. Ok, fairly short contest, but snow rarely lasts more than a few days here anyway.

Strictly Come Valancing

A gentle contest between former politicians and regional news presenters, etc, to make nice sets of bedding.

The X-Extractor

Talent contest for air conditioning engineers.

Strictly Come Overbalancing

Celebrity Jenga.

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