One-off period comedy, peeping into the lives of a South Wales family's Christmases across the 1980s, written by comedian Mark Watson and inspired by a Dylan Thomas short story.
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# Silent Night
# Holy Night
# All is calm
# All is bright... #
# Silent Night
# Holy Night... #
'Christmas 1983 was much the same as every other year round our way,
'with the oh so sweet voices of the Cadwallader boys and the imminent arrival of my father's family.
'You could never be sure my uncles would be on time. In fact, they rarely were.
'Uncle Huw was usually detained because he had had an argument with another driver,
'and Uncle Gorwel, well, he didn't have a car, or a bike.
'In fact, we were never absolutely confident he'd still have the use of both his legs.
'They were due at our house by 3.30, but my mother began getting the place ready well before that,
'and by "well before that", I mean September.'
Cream, then lilac.
'These days, they call this kind of thing obsessive compulsive disorder.'
Who's been using the sink?
'At that time, it was known as housekeeping.
What's it going to look like when they all turn up and the sink's wet?
Do you want them to think our family's washing its hands all the time? What are we? Robbers?
Might as well be talking to myself here.
She is talking to herself.
One day, it will be me sitting around with my feet up.
-I'm not sitting around, I'm watching a film.
-What are you watching?
-Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.
-What's with that?
Aliens come down, cause a bit of bother, go home again.
-I didn't think much of it to be honest.
# Hallelujah... #
Not the most exciting verse, this one.
Wasn't too bad when it was just the two brothers.
Didn't I tell you we'd regret the day when Shirley Cadwallader had quads?
'Mum had been through eleven Hoovers in the past five years.
'When she went into Rumbelows, she just asked for "the usual".
-Your brothers are late.
-They'll be here. Probably the traffic. Gets busy Christmas Eve.
# ..Hallelujah! #
Carol singers! Settle up! Got a lot to get round.
If your uncles were the Three Wise Men, the baby Jesus would still be waiting for them now!
Merry Christmas, Hywel, Boys. How are your parents?
Merry Christmas. That's £5.20, please.
£5? You're joking!
You heard Hark the Herald Angels, that £3.80, and Silent Night is £1.40.
I thought the spirit of Christmas was you give whatever you can.
Yes, we obviously agree with that, but we do have to balance it with turning a profit.
Er, that's £5.20, please.
Same to you.
We'll be back Christmas Eve next year, around 3.15pm.
-Right, boys, let's go, let's go, let's go.
-I blame the Tories.
'Dad was always annoyed having to pay for things.
'At church, he only put money in the collection plate if the vicar did a good joke in the sermon.'
-£5 that cost me.
Still, I suppose it's Christmas, eh?
-Oh, get out, stop your nonsense, we haven't time for that,
your brother will be here in a minute. Put the kettle on.
'Uncle Huw was dad's older brother.'
-'He ran one of the biggest carpet firms in Wales
'and was now involved in one of the country's most bitter divorces.'
'One of his favourite phrases was "All's fair in love and war".'
'Another was "I hate my wife".'
Merry Christmas one and all.
Apart from one. One exception, in a blouse and high heels, eh, boy?
Hey, Maurice has been looking forward to seeing Owain all week.
'Maurice had hardly ever spoken in the six Christmases I could recall.
'He didn't have to. Uncle Huw talked plenty.'
So I successfully sued him for £7,500. Damages.
That's the last time anyone will steal anything from my doorstep, eh?
Now, on to me.
Started with a bang.
-Got a conservatory built. £3,500.
-What is a conservatory exactly?
It's like a garden, but indoors.
They reckon by 1990 most people will be living in conservatories rather than houses.
Sounds lovely. Carpets are selling well then, Huw?
Yes, like hot cakes. Did you hear the ad on the radio?
If you want a carpet, buy one from us.
Oh, good, that is.
Why haven't you got an ad on the radio, Geraint?
Traffic wardens don't normally advertise on the radio, Brenda.
Yes, we're sitting pretty financially.
Despite his mother's best efforts.
She spends like water, doesn't she? She pours it all down the drain, doesn't she?
I said your mother's a waste of space, isn't she?
Geraint, why don't you go down the phone box and call Gorwel? He's nearly half an hour late.
-Haven't you got a telephone fitted yet?
-No. No need.
Perfectly good public telephone only minutes away.
'Dad always enjoyed a good walk, even in the coldest weather.
'Most mornings we walked two miles to school.
'It was only a mile away, but he went a long way round on purpose.
'Even putting the number in took quite a while.
'To dial an international number, you'd have to put most of the day aside.'
Hello, is Gorwel there?
-All that walking and he wasn't there.
-Well, never mind.
Had a nice chat with his flatmate.
-Why can't people have their own phones?
Why can't people just have a tiny little phone?
So you could fit it in your pocket and take it everywhere you go?
-You should make him put a phone in, Bren.
-Oh, you know Geraint.
Anything new, he's suspicious.
Phones, ovens, inside toilet. Outside toilet, even.
-How do you manage?
-The neighbours have put a party line. I go in there and use that sometimes.
There's no privacy with party lines, though. You hear all sorts of gossip.
Keep ourselves to ourselves round here. We're not gossips.
All I know is that Mrs Evans is having an affair with the man who came round to do the grouting.
They talk Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and he calls her "Sexy Nick".
Yes, well, you should definitely make him put a phone in.
You've got to embrace new technology.
Do you know what I got this year?
-A toaster that can do four slices at once.
But then mum moved out, and I lost my appetite.
I can eat four.
Ah, here's Gorwel.
'Uncle Gorwel was dad's younger brother.
'He'd had a chequered past. He was now having a chequered present.'
-Here he is.
Compliments of the season.
-'Uncle Gorwel was a bit like Father Christmas, in that we only saw him once a year.'
Who's having a whisky then?
You are, I should imagine.
'But he was unlike Father Christmas in that he drank whisky for breakfast
'and had once been detained overnight for streaking at the Royal Welsh Show.'
I managed to hitch a lift here in the end, back of someone's van, like.
Who was it?
I'm not sure.
They didn't know I was there.
-How are you keeping then, Gorwel?
-Oh, not bad! Not bad at all.
No run-ins with the law recently. No more fights with lollipop ladies.
-It's been a fairly quiet year.
-So, where you living?
-I've got a nice little place down by the coast.
-You bought it?
-Not bought it bought it, more like a rental.
What do you mean "like a rental"?
Well, I'm living in someone else's place, but it differs from a rental
because the owners don't technically know that I'm there, like.
-If you want to call it that.
Still, I expect it's a nice house, though, is it?
It's not a house house exactly.
So, you're squatting in an aquarium?
That's about the size of it. But it's a good aquarium, mind.
Got a shark.
Anyway, enough here.
Gorwel's ship's about to come in.
I've got a nice little trick up my sleeve.
Licence to print money. 10-1 on a white Christmas. 10 quid on.
If it snows tomorrow, hello! I'm up 100 quid.
Have you considered this might be why you're struggling?
All these harebrained schemes.
-You call starting a car showroom a harebrained scheme, do you, Huw?
-I didn't know you did that.
Mm-hm. Me and a couple of boys getting it started.
-Where are the cars going to come from?
-That's the only obstacle at the minute,
but we're well on the way to getting a room.
You need more of a business plan, Gorwel. Under this Government...
Don't mention them in this house.
Under this government, people with business sense are being rewarded.
Good business is making money at last.
That's the Tories.
Good business is making money and everyone else can go to hell.
Not for long, mind. We are going to get those flaming Tories out.
Just you wait till the election.
I'll be down there, voting them out.
I'll be down there, standing up for the working man.
We'll show them that Joe Public is not to be trifled with!
We'll all stand together!
But, Gorwel, the election's already happened.
-Yes, it was in June.
The Conservatives won by a landslide.
I was unconscious for a couple of days around then, Bren.
Must have passed me by, like.
Right! Well, you two better get yourselves up to bed.
Make sure you get a good night's sleep.
-Father Christmas only comes when you're sleeping.
I didn't make the rules, Owain.
I just abide by them. Good night.
-Good night, boys.
-Good night, boys.
'After we went to bed, Christmas Eve really got going.'
Time for a bit of Max, I think.
'We'd hear drinking and high spirits.
'And then the sound of Max Boyce.
'I could never really understand who Max Boyce was or why he shouted so much.
'I assumed he was a PE teacher.'
THEY SING IN WELSH
'I never knew quite what to say to Maurice. And he never knew quite what to say to me.
'So we would mostly just look at each other.
'After four or five hours of this, it started to drag a bit.'
ALL: Oi! Oi! Oi!
Seems pretty quiet up there.
-Maybe they're getting a good night's sleep.
Thick as thieves, those two.
If I know Maurice, he will be up to some mischief.
Do you think if you're blind, you still need to have your eyes shut for Father Christmas to come?
'Because of Uncle Gorwel's faith that one day we'd have a white Christmas,
'he gave us sledges every year. I had a cupboard full.'
It would've been a better present, if it had snowed, like.
Thank you anyway, Uncle Gorwel.
Hm. I feel like I should give you something else really.
Oh, don't be silly!
If either of you want my shirt.
Oh, Gorwel, they will be fine with the sledges.
-I've got a ball here.
-They'll be fine with the sledges.
-Right you are.
And for the lovely Brenda...
'Years ago, Gorwel had made cheese on toast for my parents,
'and, to be polite, my mother pretended she loved cheese, even though she hated it.
'She was still paying for this mistake.'
-Cheeses of Asia.
-Getting closer to the full set.
Yes, and while we wait ten years for that to be set up, welcome to the future.
What on earth is that when it's at home?
This is the Sinclair Spectrum ZX.
-This is the greatest computer of all time.
-What do you do with it?
You play games with it, that's what! This is the big thing now. Look!
He's been wanting one of these all year.
He's beside himself.
I've got a load of games to go with it.
There's Sublime Soccer.
Mind-blowing Golf Challenge 3,
Space Invaders, More Space Invaders,
Space Invaders Are Back, Space Invaders Return Once More...
Persistent, aren't they, the old Space Invaders?
"You get to play a civil servant.
You'll have to read applications, process paperwork and make decisions to shape the future of your town."
Let's get this up, shall we?
Hey, I was watching that!
-Sorry, what was it?
-Brookside on Channel 4.
Ah, I heard that most people who watch Channel 4 are Marxist and homosexual.
What is it about this Brookside?
It's about a group of people living in Liverpool having all these problems.
You can see that any time. Let's get the old Spectrum set up then, eh?
Get ready to see the future.
Does it always take this long?
No. There must be wrong with the speed of your television.
'Ere are! It's doing something now.
-Good! Come on!
OK, it's obviously a faulty tape.
Let's try Ultimate Fishing.
Right then, while we're waiting, shall we crack on with the game?
-Have we got two players?
-Stay where you are, Morris.
Can't we just have a quick game, and then...
then we'll go straight back to the computer.
I will sue them for every penny.
They'll rue the day...
God help them if they ever come to me for a carpet!
Right, then, Subbuteo. How it's played is this,
you get eleven players each...
You've got your five players each.
-Well, who put those down there?
Little men on the floor.
What are with the South Wales Toys and Collectibles Museum? Madhouse!
I've still got that ball.
Hm! Nice to hear them having fun, isn't it?
Sometimes it's the simple things, eh?
Oh, my God! The computers working!
Morris, come in here and play Planning Permission.
-I think they're happy with the ball, Huw.
-All right, I'll play.
I'll play the flippin' thing! "Press X to be a local council official, or Y to start off as the secretary."
# God rest you merry gentlemen
# Let nothing you dismay
# Remember Christ our saviour... #
Christmas 1986, and quite a lot had changed in our neighbourhood in the past few years.
The miners had gone on strike and stopped producing coal, the nation was thrown into chaos.
Dad had gone on strike too for a few days to show solidarity,
but as he was a traffic warden people were mostly pretty pleased.
Right, just turn it by 18 or 19 degrees.
-I said 18 or 19. That's nearly 30.
-I don't understand why we waited till Christmas Eve to get the thing.
Yeah? It's not you that has to Hoover up its needles for 24 days.
Why not wait them till after Christmas?
You want people to think we like walking around up to our ankles in forest? What are we, bears?
Might as well be talking to myself, here.
Right, I've put bleach in the toilet so try and hold it in, please.
And no going in the fridge.
What, no peeing in the fridge?
What were you watching?
Kid builds a snowman, they fly about, it melts.
Didn't think much of it, to be honest. Far-fetched.
Here come the Cadwallader boys.
Looks like they've been recruiting.
# God rest you merry gentlemen
# Let nothing you dismay... #
If they upset your Nativity, Owen, I'll castrate them.
I'll go out and make sure they only sing the one song this year.
We're not made of money.
-Plus 45p VAT.
-We're trading as a limited company these days. It's more tax-efficient.
-Don't I pay enough rates as it is?
Merry Christmas! See you next year. We'll confirm in November.
We're widening our catchment area so it could be any time from the 23rd onwards.
Right, boys, Gregory Street. Once In Royal David's City. Let's go! Let's go!
'As always, Uncle Huw and Maurice had brought the next big thing with them.
'The year before they'd given me a truck that turned into a robot.
'Didn't think much of it. Impractical.'
I did try to get hold of you to see if you wanted anything, but obviously you still don't have a telephone.
Geraint still doesn't see the point.
Phone box up the hill still works perfectly well, thank you very much.
What about that time those lads jammed an Opal Fruit in the coin slot?
We couldn't call anyone for a month!
-My Auntie Rita did! We missed the funeral!
All right, one person died.
You really should get one fitted, Geraint.
Huw, you call someone, they charge you for it.
You call someone else and they charge you for that. Never ends.
You're behind the times, Geraint. We live in a capitalist society now.
You wait till Kinnock gets in.
Conservatives'll be back.
Over my dead body.
I don't know one person in this town who votes Tory.
They reckon under the Tories we've all got a lot more income than before.
-We can afford more luxury goods.
-Oh, I love a luxury good.
Nonsense, "luxury goods".
Machine that washes dishes, computers, phone line in every house. What is this, Dallas?
I don't care who it is, Labour or the flaming Tories! They're all the bloody same, these politicians!
Whether it's Thatcher or the ginge, I'll still be sleeping in a beach hut, living off Coco Pops!
No-one cares for the working man!
Yes, but you're not a working man, though, are you, Gorwel. You haven't got a job.
No, I suppose not.
No. Who's having a whisky, then?
You are, I imagine.
Anyway, another good year.
The highlight, of course, was thoroughly shafting his mother in the courtrooms.
Normally it's the mum that gets the upper hand in court, but not this time. Bang!
I get custody!
Bang! She's gets rented accommodation, eh, kiddo? Eh?
She hasn't got her own bathroom any more, has she, eh? Eh?
You're a bit quiet, there, Maurice.
All right, son?
Course he's all right.
-He's doing excellently at school.
Maurice captained the Meccano team.
Owen got to the quarter-finals of Plasticine '86, didn't you, pal?
Maurice's teacher says that he's not showing any ill-effects at all from being in a one-parent family.
Didn't she, Maurice? Maurice!
'Maurice was as quiet as usual.
'But he'd started to seem a bit more threatening.
'I decided it might be an idea to stay on his good side.'
Going through one of those phases. You know,
that's what they're like. They er... First of all they idolise you, then they react against you.
When exactly did he idolise you, Huw?
Until he started listening to that...
He loves his art and his woodwork, that boy.
-That Nativity scene's his pride and joy. Obsessed with it, isn't he?
Why'd you make that?
Got me out of playing rugby.
-Still believe in Father Christmas?
-Dunno. Do you?
My father said he doesn't come round our house.
He said, "I'm not letting some git with a white beard get all the credit.
"I sold a lot of rugs to get you that train set".
Trouble with art, though -
-there's no money in it.
-Oh, there's money in it if you steal it.
Me and some of the boys looked into nicking the Mona Lisa.
Down Paris, like. Swines have got it behind a screen now.
Anyway... I bet you're wondering what's in that box.
Well, this year, I decided to get you a little Christmas Eve present.
This is an artificial tree.
-What's the point of that?
-No more pine needles on the floor, Ben, messing it up, the carpets.
Oh, d'you know, I've been on at Geraint to do something about the pine needle problem for years.
-Well, eventually, they reckon these will replace real trees in forests.
And no smell.
Right. Just turn it 30 to 35 degrees anti-clockwise. No, anti-clockwise.
I don't understand why we can't just have both trees.
You want people to think that we're so greedy we have two trees? What are we, an arboretum?
This is going to be my year, this. I can feel it.
100 quid on a white Christmas.
One flake of snow falls tomorrow, they'll owe. A grand, like.
-Where did you get £100?
-I got one of those business loans off the social.
I told them I wanted a hundred quid to start a DIY company.
So, you defrauded the social services.
Well, it was half-true, like.
I did want a hundred quid.
Anyway, snow comes down overnight, I've got the equipment to deal with it.
Who's having a whisky?
-You are, I imagine.
-What's castrate mean?
You said you'd castrate whoever knocked over my Nativity.
-What's castrate mean?
-Well, it's erm...
Well, it's erm...
-Like a haircut.
-Yeah, it's er...your hair...
Except with your knackers.
THEY SING IN WELSH
-Hey, we've not heard a peep out of them all night.
I bet you they're up there plotting something now.
# Hang the DJ
# Hang the DJ
# Hang the DJ... #
It's stupid, Christmas. We're all just going to die in the end anyway.
'Maurice had started talking quite a bit about death.
'On a whole, I think I preferred it when he didn't say anything.'
THEY ALL CHATTER
Ready? One, two, three!
Oh, yes! That's four times in five years.
Could have made a few quid out of that stuff.
Never mind. Roll on next year, I will have you.
Well, who wants some more potatoes?
Aw, no, thanks.
-I've got 67 left.
-Ah, Brenda, please.
I'll take a doggy bag off you.
Last time it saw me through till February.
We'll keep the Christmas pudding until after the Queen's Speech.
-Have you got a colour TV yet?
No, Geraint still isn't convinced.
Ours has got 2 million colours.
-Red, yellow, all the greats.
-Two is enough for me.
-Brings things to life.
Did you know Lenny Henry is a black fella?
-I tell you what programme I like, the EastEnders.
-What's that about?
People living in London having all these problems.
-Oh, I'll look out for that.
-You haven't got a television.
I've got a trick up my sleeve.
What I do, I go down the TV shop and watch it through the window.
-You get to see it 20 times that way!
-But you can't hear what they say.
Oh, I get the gist of it.
I saw most of the World Cup and Last Night Of The Proms.
You can hardly watch The Proms without hearing the sound.
Actually, I never enjoyed it so much!
Listen up, this is simple.
If you get more than half the balls, you've won.
Our side of the family is all about winning.
This year, I carpeted Shirley Bassey's bathroom whilst your mother is now a dinner lady.
Right, fingers on hippos.
Keep hitting the lever. Keep hitting the lever. Keep hitting the lever. Keep hitting the lever.
Mad house, this is.
Keep hitting the lever!
-Let's count 'em up.
Let's hope there was enough.
-It was good.
-Owen's hippo has 10 balls.
Rhys's hippo has nine balls.
Well done, Owen.
Well, it's not about winning, is it?
-There's meant to be 20 balls.
-Cracking game that, lads.
Who wants to play find my socks?
There's mean to be 20 balls. There's obviously one ball missing.
Now, who wants a bit of Christmas pudding?
Never mind Christmas pudding!
-Where's the 20th ball? It invalidates the result of the game.
-Where is the other ball?
There's meant to be 20 balls.
If there's only 19 it turns Hungry Hippos into a complete farce!
-We can call it a draw.
-We could, could we?
A safe little draw. A nice safe little draw and put our petticoats...
-I'll give him petticoats.
-No, sorry, we're going to have a rematch.
-I don't think we should.
-I bet you don't.
You would rather say it was a safe draw and play with My Little Ponies.
He is offering you a draw out of charity.
Well, I tell you what,
at least I don't get my clothes from a charity shop.
Oh, do something, Geraint.
-It's just a bit of fun.
-I might not have a lot of money, right,
but what I do do have I didn't get by screwing up my
marriage and then screwing over my wife in court. No offence, Maurice!
At least I earn my money by providing carpets,
rather than getting sacked from a meat processing plant for stealing sheep and selling them second hand.
One! I stole one sheep.
At least I've got a nice big house, big enough for a television and a toilet.
At least I learned how to use a toilet rather than wetting the bed until I was 15!
-I was 13.
-Oh, yes, this is just a bit of fun.
Right! You and I are going to settle this once and for all.
Let's have it!
-Take a hippo.
-I don't think...
take a hippo.
-Ha, ha, ha!
Fire! That's a fire!
-Don't just stand there!
-Wrap yourselves in a carpet.
I set a mate of mine on fire once and they wrapped him in a carpet.
-We're not on fire.
-We will be in a minute.
A glass of water is no good, Geraint! Stay where you are!
-Has anyone got 10p for the phone?
-The bloody tree! We're done for! We're going to die!
-Can anyone change a pound note?
-We're all dead men!
-I need change.
-We are dead!
-Where's Mum gone?
-I love you, Maurice, my dead son!
-Bren, you saved our life.
-Good work, Bren.
The fire was already out, Gorwel.
Better safe than sorry, Bren.
Not now, Geraint.
Easy, careful you don't knock it.
Just six degrees more.
Six, mind. Don't go mad.
# Hark, the herald angels sing
# Glory to... #
'Christmas 1989, the '80s were coming to an end, a terrible recession was around the corner.
'It was a time of revolution, the Berlin Wall had just come down -
'it inspired many people to dream of change.
'It inspired Dad to take down the fence in the garden.
'We had got a video player and even a telephone.'
At the third stroke it will be 3.13 precisely.
'But we were only allowed to use it for emergencies.
'And we had to make sure all emergencies happened after 6pm.'
Who's been using this phone?
Essential calls only, please.
I might as well be talking to myself, here.
'Mum was still cleaning like a maniac or, she called it, maintaining standards.
'It's funny what you think is normal when you are young.
'It wasn't till my first week at university that I realised
'I was the only person who brought his own tea-towels.'
-What you watching?
-Ben Hur was a Jewish prince, sold into slavery, endured many hardships
and great suffering before returning to take revenge in one of the most expensive closing scenes ever made.
All in Technicolor.
-Didn't think much of it, to be honest.
No, we didn't think much of it.
One day it'll be me sitting around with my feet up watching people being sold into slavery.
Well, I never.
The cheek of it.
Your brothers are five minutes early.
What do they think we are, a drive-in cinema? Come on, you two. Chop-chop. Look lively.
What was really moving about spending time with Tom Jones,
a man who's had the hits he's had and the underwear thrown at him, is that underneath it all, he is just a man.
A man with a pair of trousers on. Like you or me.
Does something smell funny in here?
At one point we were on the veranda and he turned to me, Tom Jones, and you know what he said?
"Pass us those biscuits."
That's right. Eats biscuits.
Just like you or I eat biscuits.
Can someone smell something sort of...?
And that's what you notice about really great men.
Humility. At one point we were in his swimming pool,
I was on his lilo - shaped like a crocodile -
just like a normal person's lilo. He turned to me, Tom Jones...
I'm sorry to interrupt you but I think something smells funny under this tree.
-That's my gift to you, that is, Bren.
It might be edible.
I look forward to tomorrow.
It might be the biggest Stilton in Wales, like.
Anyway, I suppose the point I'm trying to make about Tom Jones,
if I am trying to make a point at all, is above all...
I won a competition back in the 70s to spend a day with Jimmy Saville.
He hardly compares to Tom Jones, does he?
-Good. Right, well...
He was running a marathon the week after so we didn't get up to much.
A bit of circuit training, press-ups.
I don't think that was worth interrupting me for, do you?
Oh gosh, Maurice, you are getting tall.
Yes, he's had a terrific year of growing. Very impressive year.
Obviously eating all his greens.
No, not just greens - all sorts. I've had a lady in to cook.
Maurice, put the tape on.
Come on, you big lump.
Where did you meet her?
Ah, put one or two...
You know, one or two personal ads in the...
Been advertising in the lonely hearts, have you, Huw?
-They're called personal ads these days.
What did you put about yourself, Huw?
Very rich, highly sexual man, as heard on radio advert.
Has a large workforce, hires and fires at the drop of a hat.
Knows Tom James and has been on Jones's lilo.
Would like to meet a woman with a high sense of hygiene.
Shush! It's starting.
I'll tell you later on.
Oggy, Oggy, Oggy!
Oy, Oy, Oy!
Oy, Oy, Oy!
He's going through one of those phases, you know.
Listening to all this American music and having thoughts.
THEY SING ALONG
It didn't work out too well.
'Looking back, I wonder if I'm exaggerating
'some of the things mum did around the house.
'Either that, or by this time she was starting to get a bit...
Number 30, the Preeces.
OK, We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
Remember to smile.
One, two, three, four...
# We Wish You A Merry Christmas
# We Wish You A Merry Christmas
# We Wish You a Merry Christmas... #
Blimey, they're here. Where's the cheque book?
I tidied it.
Where is the blasted thing?
I tidied it away.
I'm sure things in this house just
sprout legs and walk away.
I might as well be talking to myself here.
And I wish you'd stop wishing us a merry Christmas. Oh!
Ah, got it!
What's that flaming racket?
They come every year. You're normally too late to see them.
Get rid of them, will you? We're missing Max, here.
-You can pause it.
-It wears the tape out.
Just stop it and start again.
It wears the tape out.
-Well, can we just watch it another...
-For God's sake, man, think of the tape.
# We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. #
Very nice. Merry Christmas.
Now, we're going to do some new stuff. This is Mull of Kintyre.
Whoa, whoa, whoa!
That's not a Christmas song.
We found the whole Christmas thing a bit limiting.
We see ourselves more as a group who outgrew the Christmas market.
This is our debut compact disc. It's not out till next year,
but if you buy it off us now it's 50p cheaper.
We're trying to watch a video in there. Can I just...?
Well, if you're not interested in the new stuff,
will leave you with one of our classics - The Holly And The Ivy.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop!
# The holly and the ivy
# When they are both full grown
# Of all the trees that are in the wood
# The holly bears the crown... #
What's he doing out there? We're missing Max here.
I'm going to shut them up myself in a minute!
-Yeah, yeah, you're all talk, you are.
-What's that, Huw?
You, you're all talk. You're not going to do anything.
Here we go,
the traditional conversation, right.
Gorwel never achieves anything.
Gorwel had to sell some of his clothes this year.
Leave him alone. Never mind.
You're right, Huw. I am all talk.
I'm just an idiot who spends all his money buying novelty cheeses for his sister-in-law.
I never do anything useful.
I never do anything.
Anything except this.
That's enough, thank you.
-Hey, what are you doing?
Someone's got to stop 'em. Why can't it be Gorwel?
Where did you get that whistle from?
I carry it for situations like this.
Do you realise that disturbing the peace is a crime?
Do you realise that singing badly is a crime, too?
-Do you know who you're talking to?
I'm talking to you,
and quite frankly I've had just about enough of your racket.
I'm trying to watch Max Boyce!
Who the hell wants to watch Max Boyce?
I'll give you one chance to take that back, boy.
Is he even still alive?
You don't say that about Max.
You don't do that.
SHOUTING AND SCUFFLING
Watch the nativity!
-Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
-Hold me back! Hold me back!
Oh, my giddy aunt!
Can I go out?
No. Watch Max Boyce, please.
I don't understand the jokes.
I have never understood the jokes,
but you don't hear me complaining, do you?
It's all about the old days.
The 1970s is not the old days, is it, Huw?
Wales has gone soft. It's gone soft, I tell you.
You can't punch anyone. You can't kick a man's tambourine.
How much did you have to pay?
Because it was Christmas they let me off with 50 quid bail, like.
Plus another 50 for four taxis to the hospital.
And 20 quid to the tambourine bloke...
..for his tambourine.
And where are you going to find that sort of money?
I got a little trick up my sleeve.
A little trick called not paying it.
-They'll catch up with you.
-I'll be all right.
The boys down the aquarium will have me back, I'm sure of it.
I can lend you the money, Gorwel.
I can't take your money, Huw.
Well, thinking about it, I, er... I might be able to take it.
The more I consider it, the more I feel I could definitely take the money.
Who's having a whisky?
I don't think you should have any more, Gorwel.
I don't think so either, but here we go.
'I couldn't work out how Maurice had got so big that he hardly fitted in the room.
'Or how his hair had got like that.
'I wondered if a similar thing might happen to me.
'Still, we got along as well as usual.'
Snow! HE LAUGHS
# Gorwel Rhys has
# Gorwel Rhys has
# Gorwel Rhys has won a grand!
-# Gorwel Rhys has won a grand... #
-A mad house, this is.
-I've won a grand!
-Get down, Gorwel!
-I've won a grand!
When we finish with the presents, let's get sledging like.
But the snow has melted.
Oh, don't worry about that. We'll grease 'em up, and off we go.
-I really don't think this is a good idea.
-Trust me, Bren.
I waited 15 years for it to snow, like.
Every dog has its day.
You're not an animal, Gorwel.
I'm the closest thing we've got.
-Come on, boys.
-Geraint, we can't go tobogganing.
Talk some sense into him, will you?
Well, this is a stupid idea. I really don't think...
Oh, you worry too much, Bren.
Yes, well your problem is you don't worry enough, Gorwel.
I can't be doing with that pessimism stuff.
Who was it that said I'd never climbed Mount Everest,
-or take over Blankety Blank?
-But you haven't.
-Come on then, boys.
Let's have it!
Now the key to winning a sledge race is all about coming down that hill as fast as you can.
You are going to go down the hill, down the hill.
What you mustn't do is think about going up the hill.
I'm not getting on the flaming sledge.
Don't be ridiculous, boy. How else are you going to win a sledge race?
You can't tell me what to do.
Are you disobeying me, boy?
I'm not a boy! I'm 16 in two weeks.
I will decide when you're 16, thank you very much.
Right now you're going to listen to me.
Everybody here is waiting for you to get on that sledge.
Do you want to be remembered as the one who spoilt everybody's fun?
No-one else thinks we should sledge.
Everyone except you and Gorwel wants to go home.
What, so you know that, do you? You know what everybody wants, do you?
Why don't you ask them? Go on. Let's have a vote.
Who thinks that we should sledge down this hill?
Well, I don't think much of the idea, to be honest.
It's treacherous, but, well, if Owen wants to.
I'm just worried that someone's going to get hurt,
but if Owen's got his heart set on it then...
I don't really fancy it.
There you go. You see?
No-one but you and Gorwel thinks that we should do it
-and Gorwel's not right in the head.
-How dare you say that towards your Uncle Gorwel!
You said it yourself.
You said if there was any sense,
they'd lock him up in the aquarium and throw away the key.
He's distorting. I didn't...
-I'll tell you another thing, my boy...
-I'm not your boy!
Yes, you flaming well are! Those tests were inconclusive.
I'm not anyone's boy.
I don't need you.
All you ever done for me is boss me around, talk down to me.
"Shut up, Maurice. Go over there, Maurice.
"Maurice, this is my girlfriend.
"She's a dog walker, but also does erotic dancing."
Nothing wrong with having a dual income.
Well, not this time.
This time you're going to do what I want,
and we're not sledging down that hill.
No-one is sledging down that hill.
Watch out! Watch out, Bren!
I told you one day it'd be me sitting around with my feet up.
You know what you did was very impressive.
Anybody can look at their father and say hero,
but you realised I'm just a man,
like Tom Jones,
and like Tom, I make mistakes.
In the New Year, I thought perhaps we could spend some more...
father and son time together.
Do you want to go to Alton Towers?
Yeah? Good lad, yeah, I know a couple of people there.
-Like Tom Jones, I'll get it shut down for the day so we can have it to ourselves.
-Huw, come back.
Better go and help finish off.
What are you watching?
It's A Wonderful Life.
This chap was depressed, and then it turns out that life is, er, wonderful.
I quite liked it.
Everybody, please take you places at the table. The dinner is prepared.
-Come on, Bren.
Ladies and gentlemen, sorry for the delay.
-The Rhys brothers proudly present the turkey.
Do you know, I love a turkey sandwich.
Oh, hold on a minute, Bren. I made you a special sandwich, like.
-There we are.
There we are.
I don't actually like cheese.
What?! Gone off it, have you?
I've never liked it, I just didn't know how to tell you.
In that case, Bren, I apologise for having got you over ten years' worth of cheese and related paraphernalia.
It's the thought that counts.
I must admit, I'm a little relieved.
I was having a helluva time tracking down cheeses of Antarctic.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
ALL: Merry Christmas!
'So although every Christmas was the same - in a way, this one was a bit different.
'Huw had learned to value his son.
'My parents, to value each other.
'Gorwel had learned not to hurtle towards people on a toboggan.
'A lesson he sadly forgot only days later.
'And me, not sure what I learned really.
'But for what it's worth, I've passed it on.
"WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS" PLAYS
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
One-off period comedy, peeping into the lives of a south Wales family's Christmases across the 1980s, written by comedian Mark Watson and inspired by a Dylan Thomas short story. Christmas in this household may be a less than poetic affair, but it is just as eventful. So much changes across a decade in any family, and yet so much manages to remain the same.