Sunday, 12 December 2010

Twelfth Day of Advent

- December 12th -

When I was a nipper in the late 70s/early 80s everyone had their tellys tuned into The Two Ronnies Christmas Show on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day. No question. It was the law. Or something.

You have to remember that if you missed a programme back then, you damn well missed it. It might be repeated, once the following year, if you were lucky. But if not then, tough. You missed it.

I know this is a rather difficult concept for us to get our heads around nowadays - in a time of iPlayers, repeats on Digital channels, and a full DVD release mere weeks after it’s broadcast - but back then British TV was much more ephemeral - transmitted once, perhaps twice, then over and done with, gone!

Like that other classic double act, Morecambe & Wise, The Two Ronnies was mandatory, festive television viewing, often commanding viewing figures of over 20 million people.

The Two Ronnies ran for 16 years - 1971-87 - and, although all but one of those years would see a full series broadcast, it was always to the Christmas Special that both critic and viewing attention alike would be focused.

The flagship of the Christmas schedules (much the same way as Doctor Who is currently) all the stops would be pulled out for the making and screening of this one-off bonanza - often with a greatly increased budget that would finance a somewhat cinematic-looking short film, that would appear near the end of the episode.

I used to love watching these specials when I was a kid, and do you know what, I still do!

Time has not diminished the impact of The Two Ronnies, either as a comedy double act or as a wonderfully entertaining, comedy sketch show. And you can still find it tucked in the Christmas schedules somewhere, even in this day and age - which I think says something about the timeless appeal and affection the British public have for these masters of comedy.

And this year is no exception, with BBC2 holding a Two Ronnies evening on December 23rd, featuring their Christmas Show from 1982, along with various documentaries and never-before-seen footage of these masters at work!

Proving that The Two Ronnies are an essential part of Christmas telly now as they ever were.

The Two Ronnies - Christmas Show

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