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Turkey Carving Was TV Viewing in 1937!

Both television and the internet have moved on enormously over the years and taken people’s lifestyles along with them. The Christmas period on telly tells us a lot about society and has always has done.

The first Christmas TV schedule came in 1936 and it featured a turkey carving demonstration. The Queens’ Speech was first broadcast in 1957 and Top of the Pops in 1965, and both were popular favourites.

Other long hits, like Morecambe and Wise were big for a number of years, as was Dallas and Eastenders. These shows became, for a period, as essential to most people’s Christmas as presents and trees.

Christmas v The Internet

Among the usual Christmas favourite things we like to do after all the shopping, food preparation and planning is done, is to plan the television watching, bearing in mind that lots of us will settle for the internet instead. Or simultaneously both together.

However, in the run up to this season’s choices, the Radio Times conducted a poll. Perhaps not surprisingly, a heart-warmer topped it. It’s a Wonderful Life, a tale of a depressed man who threatened to commit suicide on Christmas Eve but was convinced by the joys of Christmas to go on living got almost 20% of the votes.

Family-friendly films did well, as to be expected. The Muppet Christmas Carol came second, while Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone completed the top five.

At the very bottom with nul points, was Female Trouble (1974), described by Radio Times’ Tom Cole as about ‘its lead character going mad and becoming a mass murderer after her parents refuse to buy her a pair of cha-cha shoes for Christmas’. Not one to show Granny, really.

Here’s the full chart:

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 17.83%
2. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) 10.19%
3. Love Actually (2003) 7.57%
4. Elf (2003) 5.94%
5. Home Alone (1990) 5.73%
6. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) 4.92%
7. White Christmas (1954) 4.21%
8. Die Hard (1988) 4.1%
9. Scrooge (1951) 3.68%
10. Santa Claus (1985)3.18%
11. The Polar Express (2004) 2.76%
12. Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 2.72%
13. Scrooged (1988) 2.69%
14. A Christmas Carol (1984) 1.8%
15. The Santa Clause (1994) 1.59%
16. The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) 1.56%
17. The Holiday (2006) 1.42%
18. Gremlins (1984) 1.38%
19. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) 1.31%
20. The Grinch (2000) 1.2%
21. Bad Santa (2003) 1.17%
22. The Railway Children (1970) 1.13%
23. The Bishop’s Wife (1947) 1.06%
24. Meet Me in St Louis (1944) 0.99%
25. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) 0.88%
26. Trading Places (1983) 0.88%
27. Nativity! (2009) 0.81%
28. Jingle All the Way (1996) 0.78%
29. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) 0.74%
30. Holiday Inn (1942) 0.71%
31. While You Were Sleeping (1995) 0.71%
32. A Christmas Story (1983) 0.67%
33. The Apartment (1960) 0.6%
34. Edward Scissorhands (1990) 0.53%
35. Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) 0.32%
36. The Lion in Winter (1968) 0.32%
37. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) 0.32%
38. Babes in Toyland (1934) 0.28%
39. Black Christmas (1974) 0.25%
40. The French Connection (1971) 0.18%
41. Arthur Christmas (2011) 0.14%
42. The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941) 0.14%
43. The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) 0.11%
44. Serendipity (2001) 0.11%
45. Tales from the Crypt (1972) 0.11%
46. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) 0.07%
47. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1982) 0.07%
48. The Poseidon Adventure (1972) 0.07%
49. Home for the Holidays (1972) 0.04%
Female Trouble (1974) 0%

Happy viewing!

Source:
Radio Times.  December 2011.

Photo: M. Rehemtulla