Although the gift shopping is almost complete & the tree is awaiting collection, the festive season for me doesn’t start until the Christmas edition of Radio Times hits the stores.
Growing up in the UK in seventies & eighties, in the age before multi-channel cable tv & DVR set-top boxes, interactive digital TV & HTPC’s, if you missed something on the three channels available when it was broadcasted then you were out of luck. The BBC’s Radio Time’s Christmas edition TV listing (and not forgetting the TV Times in the day when RT only listed Beeb channels) was the essential must have. I come from quite a large family & back in the day, like most families, only owning the one TV, our pristine copy of RT would soon be filled with sibling initials indicating shows that couldn’t be missed.
Christmas TV has lost its appeal somewhat over the years with endless channels to choose from at the flick of a remote button. There are countless DVD & Blue Ray movies & down-loadable content within easy reach making choice, whatever time of day, almost limitless. As I child, i recall Christmas TV being a microcosm of this very same choice consisting of two full weeks of endless shows, cartoons & movies. So, at the beginning of every December, armed with a crisp copy of RT & pen I’d pencil out the things i didn’t want to miss.
Even though life is a little hectic now at Christmas time & relaxing in from of the box is limited, I still rush to the newstand at the beginning of December to pick up my copy…and will continue to do so every year.