Thursday 26 December 2019

"Christmas Day on BBC One brought the nation together"

BBC folk are absolutely cock-a-hoop today that the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special last night got 11.48m viewers, peaking at 12.3m - the biggest Christmas Day audience for a very long time, they say. 

They are so cock-a-hoop about it that it's been the BBC News website's second story tonight - i.e. the second most important news story in the world.

(Really, BBC?)

And the BBC report about it includes an 'Analysis' by BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba, who says "[Gavin and Stacey] and the BBC will be thrilled".

(Breaking news Lizo from the BBC, they already are!)

I don't think anyone could fairly accuse the BBC of ever hiding their successes under a bushel these days.

The Daily Telegraph quotes the BBC's Director of Content Charlotte Moore saying: 
Christmas Day on BBC One brought the nation together and entertained them in their millions, with the much-anticipated return of Gavin And Stacey taking the top spot in 2019, and making it the biggest in a decade. We delivered something for everyone with the seven most-popular programmes that cap off an incredible year for BBC One celebrating British talent and creativity.
Reality Check: 11.48m/12.3m is less than one-fifth of the present UK population (67.53m by the latest UN estimates), so Charlotte is exaggerating by claiming that "BBC One brought the nation together". Well over four-fifths of the population didn't share the BBC moment.

And it's well below the 30.15m who watched Eastenders in 1986 or the 26.65m who watched Hilda Ogden leave Coronation Street a year later.

Still, it's a tidy figure for Gavin & Stacey, and even I watched it and rather enjoyed it.

Twitter, however, was characteristically full of 'woke' types raging about how their lives were being ruined by  Nessa and Bryn singing A Fairy Tale of New York and including the line "you cheap lousy faggot", and lefties rode on that and claimed it was symptomatic of Boris's Britain - and the BBC's 'support' for Boris's Britain.

A smattering of isolated social conservatives also accused the programme of normalising cannabis use (which it probably did).

So that's all I've got to say on that...

...except to confess that I did something I've never done before last night: I watched the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special on BBC One too.

Admittedly, I approached it with a mask and surgical gloves and, just to be on the safe side, garlic and a stake. All I know about it, from everything I've ever read about it on Twitter or on online newspaper/magazine sites, is that it's utter garbage and insulting to the intelligence and inexplicably popular. Nobody on my social media feeds can see why the BBC persists with it, except to appeal to idiots...

...except  that quite a few of my friends in 'the real world', who are far from being idiots, really, really, like it, love it even. It makes them laugh.

And they are far from alone. By present BBC standards, its ratings are high.

You're expecting a review? Well, go on then:

It's not something I'll be watching again, but I did laugh a few times and I can see why people might like it. It's an Are You Being Served?-style, old-fashioned comedy, overlaid with copious use of the f-word and a lack of plot coherence.

I did probably lose 13 IQ points while watching it, but I'll get over that.

In fact, I might now buy a box set of Mrs Brown's Boys in order to lower my IQ to such an extent that I might put in for Mastermind in the hope of getting an even lower score than David Lammy.

I could even make Mrs Brown's Boys my specialist subject and score no points.

I'd use the f-word in every answer and make John Humphrys faint...

...which would make a great anecdote for his second autobiography, A Day After Today.


  1. I watched Gavin and Stacey but fell asleep half way through. It would be interesting to know how many of the audience were actually in the land of nod...what was the "slumber ratio" eh?

    At times it seemed to be like passing electricity through a corpse - there were some jerky movements that could be described as lively - but not co-ordinated in any way. I awoke towards the end, by which time it seemed to have picked up a bit and engaged my interest.

    The thing I noticed about Gavin and Stacey was that it didn't seem very woke. The gay guy seemed very much the only gay in the village. There didn't seem too many if any parts for ethnic minorities (not sure as I went to sleep). It all seemed to revolve around heterosexual relations. No one was "checking their privilege". It was all hideously white.

    The BBC will sometimes sacrifice its principles for ratings, it seems!

    I have maintained the "garlic and gloves" approach to Mrs Brown's Boys...another successful year. I even switch channels when trailers come on. I wouldn't want my comedy glands infected with the idiocy virus!

    I did watch Not Going Out - another unwoke but popular comedy on BBC (the BBC though won't recognise any significance in that). It's very variable as a series. Sometimes they do strike comedy gold - and it certainly knows the joy of punning. This Christmas's offering was a bit formulaic but it had its moments.

  2. I also didn't think that Gavin & Stacey was worthy of a News story on the main News. The actual comedy does absolutely nothing for me. And for some years I've been baffled by the success of James Corden, especially after landing that top U.S tv talk show.

    But at least after 3 or 4 years a different comedy broke the monopoly of previous top ratings for Mrs Brown's Boys.
    For some time thanks to the demise of tv comedy, Mrs Brown's Boys has had no competition every Christmas.

    I'm amazed that the BBC still claims to have a 'Comedy Department' as well as a Head of BBC Comedy.

    The fact is that due to the birth of political correctness which emanates from the bowels of the BBC, comedy barely exists on the BBC today.
    15 or 20 years ago there was maybe one, even two comedy shows a night on the BBC. Now there's barely anything.

    British humour was once based on our ability to laugh at ourselves and at others, and yes, taking the mick. But all that's gone out of the window thanks to the pc brigade.

    And so I just know in my heart that lots of new young comedy writer's scripts are being turned down by the hundreds by the week at the BBC.

    When I think back to the greats like Steptoe, Alf Garnett, On The Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Are You Being Served, Fawlty Towers, Bottom, Gimmee Gimmee, and I loved Father Ted, I ask myself, is no one writing comedy anymore with so much in today's world to laugh about. I could think of hundreds of funny sketches. Especially with our obsession with technology and social media.

    You can actually go through a whole evening on the BBC these days without a single comedy show turning up on the tv.
    Why.... because the tv networks lead by the BBC are turning them down by the hundreds because of our new and ever expanding pc rules.

    I could be wrong but the last great comedy that got in there just in time was 'Little Britain.'

    Interestingly GOLD Comedy channel is one of the only channels showing some of those comedies I mentioned. But thank goodness I bought the original Box Sets because even Gold is prone to editing out so called unsuitable passages.
    Someone said to me recently that young people are actually growing up never experiencing what we had. Television comedy. You don't get that from Reality shows and working in Factories (Greg Wallace...the King of dumbed down tv).

    John.... North London.

    1. BBCs shouty mockney costermonger Gregg is in everything. But why? Charm, no. Charisma, no, Talent, no. Skill, no. Fidelity,no. Cheap, probably. Can remember his lines and smile, yes.


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