Christmas The Grumpy Guide To


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Christmas

A new breed of grumpies bring tales of seasonal Tourette's, inappropriate present-buying and the eating of reindeer. Featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Huey Morgan, John Thomson and more.


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# Christmas time is here by golly Disapproval would be folly

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# Deck the halls with hunks of holly

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# Fill the cup and don't say when

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# Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens

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# Mix the punch Drag out the Dickens

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# Even though the prospect sickens

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# Brother, here we go again! #

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CHEERING

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Would you Adam and bloody Eve it?

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No, seriously. I mean, really, a joke's a joke.

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And time speeds up and all that, but blimey, how can it be possible?

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How on earth can it be possible that it's come around again?

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And here I am sitting at the bloody head of the bloody table

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with bloody people I don't bloody like,

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eating food that turns my stomach,

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listening to blinking Christmas carols,

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reading out pathetic jokes,

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wearing an utterly ridiculous paper hat

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and, worst of all, having to pretend to be happy about it.

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Well, when I was a practising alcoholic,

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it was the best time of the year.

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But when you don't drink, it's just another day.

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I'm a humbug, I'm a Scrooge, I don't like it at all.

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It's just sentimental claptrap.

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I'm sorry, it's awful.

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It's worse than a puppy

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cos you can't put Christmas in a sack and drown it.

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It just goes on and on and on.

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I get so grumpy.

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I'm in so much pain.

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You don't hear anybody saying, "Oh, I wish it started earlier!

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"I get so miserable round about the middle of August

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"because it's been so long since it was Christmas."

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My, God, it's just obscene, really.

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It just drives me absolutely mad.

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Sod off, Christmas.

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Impossible though it must be to believe,

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it really is that time of the year again.

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Shall I tell you what the worst thing about Christmas is?

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No, really, shall I?

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Well, I will then.

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The worst thing about Christmas is the expectation

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of everyone around you that you are supposed to be jolly.

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Jolly?!

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Jolly, what sort of word is jolly anyway?

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Or maybe even worse than that...

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Merry Christmas!

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Yes. Blokes like this one.

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Merry Christmas!

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Just trying to ingratiate himself by wearing a daft hat once a year

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and telling his customers to "Have a Merry Christmas!"

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And then you've got to repeat it back like a demented parrot.

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"Merry Christmas to you, too!"

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Like you could give a damn.

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What upsets me is I want to be jolly,

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but I don't feel I can be,

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because I'm being told I have to be jolly.

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Then that just upsets all the jolliness.

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It makes me grumpy when I want to be happy.

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Cos it's bloody Christmas!

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Let's try and whoop the whole general populace into a frenzy of joy(!)

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It's Christmas. Cheer up, it's Christmas.

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No, be really upset and gloomy cos it's bloody Christmas again.

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The way that disc-jockeys have to be

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from about the 26th of November onwards,

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that they have to do all of that stuff.

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"It's coming up to Christmas, absolutely fantastic,

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"I've never been so excited.

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"Just three-and-a-half weeks away. Are you doing all your shopping?

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"It's tremendous out there.

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"The lights are flashing on Oxford Street. Ha ha!

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"It's gonna be Christmas!"

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It's just so awful.

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I have Tourette's during Christmas.

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Really, I walk down the street and scream something out,

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completely left-field and horrible.

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I hate it. I hate it.

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I can't say how much I hate it.

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None of it would be so bad, if it didn't all go on so long.

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It feels like we've only just got over Easter

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when those little reminders start to appear.

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But what's even more irritating -

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the people that keep telling us that...

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There are 143 days to go to Christmas.

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-Great(!)

-Wonderful.

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Yeah.

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Yes, that's right. We're even irritating our stupid selves.

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It's like the gestation period of an elephant.

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It comes and comes and comes.

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Have you got this done, have you got your Christmas cards done?

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Don't even get me started on Christmas cards.

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It's Christmas creep, is the problem.

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Christmas has crept.

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In September, you start being bombarded and pressurised

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and harassed and harangued

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to buy loads of shit you really, really don't need.

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Actually, it can stress you out to such a degree

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that by the time it's Christmas Day you are just crying, depressed

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and have the worst day in the world with your family.

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That's why people have such a horrible Christmas Day.

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Before you know where you are it's August

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and it's, you know, there are 302 shopping days to Christmas.

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It used to be just advent, didn't it?

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Used to be an Advent calendar with a chocolate, December 1st.

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That used to be when Christmas kind of got going.

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And now, I think Christmas starts around about July.

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Well, I was in Costco in August

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and they had all the Christmas stuff there already.

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It just made my stomach turn over.

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Because Christmas, once you get past a certain age

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it's just a reminder you're getting closer to death.

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I mean, where do you start?

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Where DO you start?

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It doesn't matter.

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You can start anywhere, because it's all beyond irritating.

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Can anyone for example tell us the point of the Christmas card,

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other than to give money to talentless art designers

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and unemployable writers of sycophantic verses?

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Oh, really?

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It's a piece of old cardboard with a picture of a robin on it

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wishing people you see every day a merry Christmas.

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You see 'em every day, tell 'em yourself.

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Never sent a Christmas card. Never sent one.

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No, I don't do Christmas cards.

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I used to be really good, but then when I realised -

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I mean, it's quite mercenary -

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that I was sending far more than I was getting back,

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it starts to grate,

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and you think, "No, you're not... I won't bother with you anymore."

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Probably for the last 30 years I've intended to send Christmas cards,

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not quite got round to it,

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got a load of Christmas cards from other people

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and then felt bad about it.

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Oh! No...

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It's so tedious.

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And I think probably what I'll do now is I'll change that,

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so that I still don't send them,

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but I don't bother feeling bad about not sending them.

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What I really hate and can't understand

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is multiple cards between one family and another family.

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So you get, you know, cards to you and your missus

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and then cards from their kids to your kids.

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I just think, nah, what's the point?

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When I get cards I think, you sent me a card, straight in the bin.

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The worst is when you get a card from an organisation, like your bank

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that just says, "To customer..."

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Or even not "To customer."

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I got one from my mortgage broker

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that just had the stamp of the company.

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I'm going to invest in a stamp with my name. Boom!

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Give us that one. Boom!

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On the other hand, there is nothing quite so guaranteed

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to lighten the load at Christmas for the grumpy

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than to have a good old laugh at someone else's expense.

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Oh, go on, it's Christmas!

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Time for goodwill to all men, let's make fun of someone.

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Preferably someone close to us

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who's too nice to even suspect what it is we're doing.

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One thing I used to do at Christmas

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was send my parents cards from fictitious people,

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which is a great game to play.

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"From Stan and Edie."

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They'd go, "I don't know who they are, who are they?"

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I'd be like, trying to compose myself.

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"I don't know. Did you meet them on holiday?"

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Or the Christmas card that says

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"From Kate and Steve and Barbara, Jeff, Pat and Marge."

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And you think, "Who the hell are they?!"

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I did have visions of creating a further...

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Like sending a picture of a baby and going, "Look, we've had a baby."

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It could go on and on and on.

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If it's not bad enough that your own year has been awful,

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it's all so much worse

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when you learn that everyone else's has been wonderful.

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So let's get one thing straight.

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We don't want to know how wonderful life is

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for your smug, over-privileged selves

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or your precocious kids or your irritating pets.

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Get it?

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You never seem to see any that say,

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"Yeah, it's been a crap year really.

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"Our eldest son is still in a borstal."

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"Damian's been coming off heroin and his methadone's been going OK."

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"Our youngest girl's off the crack cocaine,

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"but she's not on the game any more, so that's good."

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"And Barry is still on tag."

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"Lawrence has left me

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"for the third time.

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"Yeah, he's got a new..." You never see those.

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They're always about "Oh, we had a wonderful summer.

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"Bill completed the fifth marathon, you know, at high altitude."

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Great(!)

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"Philippa did a walk across the Andes."

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Get over it.

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All the sickening things that these people have done, these families.

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"Ben got straight As."

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You're like, "Oh, right..."

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They're giving the impression of the perfect family

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and you know they've been screaming at each other

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over Sunday lunch for most of the year.

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So sending out cards is a total waste of time,

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but at least it involves choosing a card, writing a message,

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writing your address and going down to the post-box.

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If all you can be bothered to do is to send the same text

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to everyone in your contacts,

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honestly, we'd really rather you didn't bother.

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They've just thought, I'll text everyone cos everyone will think,

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"Oh, isn't that lovely that we've heard from him on Christmas Day."

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It's not lovely, it's vile.

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Anyway, I won't get it until Boxing Day cos I've got my phone turned off.

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You don't see them all year, then you start getting texts

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and cards from people you don't really see

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cos you don't want to see them. "Oh, I thought of you."

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Well, stop thinking about me.

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I have been sent a few of those email ones,

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but they are quite easy to delete.

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That's the nice thing, they leave no mess.

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I would just like to send a message out to anyone that I know and love

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or know and don't even like.

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I wish you all a merry Christmas.

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I won't be texting you back, if that's all right.

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What especially gets up your snitch

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is everyone seems to think Christmas is an opportunity to take advantage.

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To do all the stuff they know they would never get away with the rest of the year.

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Like knocking on your door, for example.

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We don't like having people knock on the door at the best of times.

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Usually we pretend be out or we tell them to take a hike.

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-DOORBELL RINGS

-At Christmas it's one after another.

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And have you noticed,

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somehow or other, they've all got their hands out.

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The next thing you know we'll have the postman asking for a tip.

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Now they can bog off!

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I can always tell when it's gonna be Christmas,

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because the dustbin men start smiling at you. That's first.

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"Hello, Mr Davro, it's nearly Christmas!"

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Which really cheeses me off.

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Why should we tip people who get paid to empty the bins

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or to deliver the milk?

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Or the little scumbag who delivers the paper?

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Eh? Merry Christmas, I picked up that whole...out of your bin bag in June.

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Remember that? Fiver, please.

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Although I did actually have a paper round when I was a kid,

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I did get a Christmas box and people were very generous,

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but I don't care about that because I'm not.

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Stop banging on my door. Go away.

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So the collective madness that starts to descend in October

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and runs well into January

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includes eating quantities and varieties of food

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we would never countenance for the rest of the year.

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Suddenly, it's like we're expecting Napoleon to drop by for dinner

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during the siege of Moscow.

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And oh, horror of horrors!

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We haven't got enough satsumas to feed his entire bloody army.

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Now, food shopping for Christmas.

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Nowadays, most shops, and I don't know whether you know this,

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most shops are open most of the time.

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I'm only saying that to be helpful.

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The justification is that the shops will be shut for one day,

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so, oh, we'd better get a box of kumquats

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just in case Aunty Mabel,

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who is 93 and never eaten anything more exotic than luncheon meat,

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suddenly goes, "Have you got a kumquat, dear?"

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Every Christmas, you go in and, you know, you just think,

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"Well, it's only a day or two, I can get some more stuff in tomorrow

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"so I'll just take a basket

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"and I'll put enough food in there for a day and a bit."

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And then you are standing behind a whole army of people,

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a phalanx of people,

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with enormous great trolleys full of stuff.

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I don't know how to shop for food at Christmas,

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because it doesn't matter what time of day or night you go,

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there's no sprouts, or no this or no that.

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You cannot do your whole shop at once.

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It's 2pm on a Saturday afternoon and Sainsbury's has sold out of sprouts.

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How can that happen?

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It's Christmas. Did you not think to get more sprouts in?

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There's just one manky sprout with a maggot inside it

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and people are killing each other for it.

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"That's my sprout, you whore!"

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What is it about the season to be jolly

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that turns an average, normally balanced individual

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into a crazed shopaholic?

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Eh?

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And considering it's supposed to be a time for goodwill to all men,

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you'd think that people might make an effort.

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A bit of elementary courtesy.

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"After you" and all that stuff.

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But, no. It's like, "I matter, you don't, get out of my way."

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I hate the fact that when you go shopping at Christmas

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there's all these people who don't normally go shopping

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so don't know how to move around a supermarket.

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It's the kind of shopping equivalent of Sunday drivers.

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Why is your trolley in the middle of the aisle

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while you're standing there examining a bit of blue cheese?

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Move it over, so all these 30 people

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who are also trying to use the supermarket can get down the aisle.

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I start to hate myself,

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cos I hear myself sound like a harridan

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in the middle of some supermarket

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and it's four days to Christmas and I just want to slap some old lady.

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What was that? Who threw it?

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The thing is I lose my nut around Christmas time

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and if you're ever going to see Huey knock somebody out in a shop,

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it's going to be around Christmas time.

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Oh, there's another one.

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When you get to the till and you've got everything up

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and it's all going through and getting packed up,

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get your purse out so you know where it is,

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so I don't have to wait 25 minutes for you to root around in your bag,

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because you can't find your purse.

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And I know...

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I know that they know this.

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You get home and think, "I've forgotten the cranberry sauce."

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OK, so we hate the cards, we hate the decorations,

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we hate the shopping, we hate the false jollity

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and we hate the family.

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But what's the common theme that binds all that together?

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What's going on in the background of all that hatred? Can anyone tell us?

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Yes, that's right.

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# It's Christma-a-a-a-a-a-a-as! #

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As we go in shops in the beginning of November,

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and hearing "Merry Christmas, everyone!"

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again, every year,

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bang out of order.

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When they start to play Christmas songs too early,

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the people that work in the shops kind of go a bit bovine

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cos they've had to listen to it all day.

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You go into the shop and you hear...

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# It's Christma-a-a-a-a-a-a-as! #

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They've had to listen to it all day till the end of their shift,

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they've got nothing but that to look forward to.

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They just go a bit mad.

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If any managers are watching this

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who make their staff listen to that music,

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please for their sake and for all our sakes,

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don't play that music at Christmas, it doesn't help anything.

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# Christmastime... #

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But the worst, the absolute worst,

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the one thing guaranteed to make us want to kill has got to be this man.

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You'd rather immerse your head

0:16:260:16:29

in a bucket of festive reindeer snot than listen to it.

0:16:290:16:33

But you have to.

0:16:330:16:34

Somebody beam me up.

0:16:340:16:37

You're already fairly murderous, aren't you?

0:16:390:16:42

You are in the supermarket, you want to kill people,

0:16:420:16:44

you don't need to hear Cliff Richard.

0:16:440:16:46

In fact you never need to hear Cliff Richard. Let's face it.

0:16:460:16:49

Cliff Richard!

0:16:490:16:50

Oh my God, no.

0:16:500:16:52

You certainly don't need to hear it

0:16:530:16:55

when you're at the point of murdering someone in the supermarket

0:16:550:16:58

cos it is just going to push you over the edge.

0:16:580:17:00

# With logs on the fire

0:17:000:17:03

# And gifts on the tree.. #

0:17:030:17:06

Give it a rest.

0:17:070:17:08

I know it's an easy target.

0:17:080:17:09

People talk about him as being an easy target.

0:17:090:17:12

It's an easy target because it is a target,

0:17:120:17:14

because it's rotten and it should not be allowed.

0:17:140:17:17

Surely there are some artists out there

0:17:170:17:20

who can think up some original Christmas songs. Please.

0:17:200:17:23

How many hours of my life is there that I'm never getting back

0:17:230:17:26

I've had to listen to Cliff Richard singing Mistletoe And Wine?

0:17:260:17:29

I should be able to sue somebody.

0:17:290:17:30

There should be somebody somewhere that I can deliver a writ to,

0:17:300:17:35

to get either money or the time back.

0:17:350:17:38

You know, I'm on dangerous ground here,

0:17:380:17:41

because I did have a big Christmas song out once.

0:17:410:17:45

It wasn't a Christmas song,

0:17:450:17:46

but Bob the Builder was the Christmas number one

0:17:460:17:49

in the year 2000.

0:17:490:17:50

It was a bit of a disco hit as it goes.

0:17:500:17:53

I had a Christmas number one, but the only thing was I was in hospital.

0:17:530:17:56

When I did that thing with my daughter, Kelly,

0:17:560:17:59

I nearly killed myself in a quad bike accident at the house.

0:17:590:18:03

I was in a coma for a while, so I missed Christmas.

0:18:030:18:07

Thank God! That's a good idea.

0:18:070:18:08

One of these Christmases I'll get on my quad bike and break my neck again.

0:18:080:18:12

Have a great Christmas everybody!

0:18:120:18:14

CHEERING

0:18:140:18:16

Isn't it lovely?

0:18:200:18:22

No, really, isn't it heart-warming to see?

0:18:220:18:24

It's the birth of our Lord and it brings out the best in us.

0:18:240:18:27

Goodwill to all men, peace on earth, a spiritual reawakening.

0:18:270:18:32

# Oh, baby... #

0:18:320:18:34

So, the only thing to be said for Christmas for most of us

0:18:340:18:37

is that it's a few days off.

0:18:370:18:40

True, you have to be with the family,

0:18:400:18:42

but at least you don't have to go to work, so as it's Christmas,

0:18:420:18:46

spare a thought for the poor sods who do have to work.

0:18:460:18:49

Can you imagine what it must be like to have to entertain this lot?

0:18:490:18:53

It's tired, drunk audiences around Christmas and food fights.

0:18:530:18:57

I mean, you know, it's not pretty.

0:18:570:19:00

And you turn up and you're the only one who's sober,

0:19:000:19:02

so you have to watch it and take it in and they never listen.

0:19:020:19:06

Christmas is a joyful time of drunken abandon for most people.

0:19:060:19:09

What it means for comedians is dodging Bacardi Breezer bottles.

0:19:090:19:12

"Let's see if I can hit this one in the face."

0:19:120:19:15

Chicken in a basket, listen to the beginning of a joke,

0:19:150:19:17

don't listen to the end of it, can be like that at some comedy clubs.

0:19:170:19:20

People get drunker and more jovial.

0:19:200:19:21

Dealing with people, A - being extremely drunk...

0:19:210:19:25

They're eating, they're trying to get off with someone...

0:19:270:19:30

And they're having to put up with you trying to tell them jokes.

0:19:320:19:36

So, quite a lot of the time, they're saying,

0:19:360:19:38

"Do you mind, we're trying to eat here!"

0:19:380:19:41

It's pretty rubbish being a stand-up comic around Christmas

0:19:410:19:44

from that point of view.

0:19:440:19:45

The money is good but it ought to be, because the gigs are crap.

0:19:450:19:48

And then the occasional splatter of vomit on a hard surface.

0:19:480:19:53

RETCHING

0:19:530:19:55

Cor!

0:19:570:19:59

But the thing that makes us sick isn't the excessive alcohol intake.

0:20:010:20:06

Oh, no. What really makes us reach for the sick bucket is the fact

0:20:060:20:09

that Christmas seems to be the time of year

0:20:090:20:11

when every halfwit celebrity thinks it's funny

0:20:110:20:15

to make a twit of himself.

0:20:150:20:16

None of our grumpiest would ever do that, would they?

0:20:160:20:19

I'm playing Buttons.

0:20:190:20:21

I've got my bellboy outfit on and everything,

0:20:220:20:25

which is luminous blue with silver braid

0:20:250:20:30

and it's also made of this nylon material.

0:20:300:20:33

I've seen it already, my costume.

0:20:330:20:36

I'm going to be secretly seething inside.

0:20:360:20:40

If you get a bad audience,

0:20:400:20:41

it's one of the worst jobs you can ever do in your entire life.

0:20:410:20:44

I'll be like that onstage, but behind going,

0:20:440:20:46

"Listen to those snotty little kids throwing peanuts at me!"

0:20:460:20:51

When the audience are good, you're on fire,

0:20:510:20:53

but when they're not good, you cannot do your dialogue fast enough.

0:20:530:20:56

MUMBLES QUICKLY

0:20:560:20:58

Because what they do, some audiences are really, really thick.

0:20:580:21:01

Oh, no, we're not!

0:21:010:21:04

CHILDREN: Oh, yes, you are!

0:21:040:21:07

Because you're the baddie, it doesn't matter what you say,

0:21:070:21:10

you've got these great gags, and lines,

0:21:100:21:12

you and Smee messing about and all that,

0:21:120:21:15

all they do is "Booooo! Sssss! Get off! Boo!" Constant.

0:21:150:21:19

It's all you can hear. A mass of hatred.

0:21:190:21:23

BOOING

0:21:230:21:25

Of all the many great mysteries surrounding Christmas,

0:21:310:21:34

this one has got to take the proverbial HobNob.

0:21:340:21:37

It's Jesus's birthday,

0:21:370:21:40

so we're going to go into the high street or into a forest,

0:21:400:21:44

murder an innocent spruce that is far too big for our house,

0:21:440:21:47

jam it in the car, so the needles drop,

0:21:470:21:49

take it home, stick it up in our living room

0:21:490:21:51

and cover it with tasteless rubbish.

0:21:510:21:55

What the hell could possibly be the point of that?

0:21:550:21:58

Did Jesus ever even see a spruce?

0:21:580:22:01

Did he ever even contemplate a bauble or a fairy for the top?

0:22:010:22:06

We think not.

0:22:060:22:08

What's the point of a tree?

0:22:080:22:09

What's the point of bringing a tree into your house?

0:22:090:22:12

You never bring a tree into your house under normal circumstances.

0:22:120:22:15

Why would you do that?

0:22:150:22:16

The tree, the tree! Oh, the tree.

0:22:160:22:19

Never do Christmas trees.

0:22:190:22:20

I got married, my wife wants me to do the Christmas tree thing.

0:22:200:22:22

My wife is a lovely lady, I love her more than anything,

0:22:220:22:25

so I do the Christmas tree thing. Not happy about it.

0:22:250:22:27

It's a pain in the arse.

0:22:270:22:28

It's bollocks.

0:22:280:22:30

Because usually I will have been quite late in getting the tree,

0:22:300:22:34

so it will be quite a mutant specimen of a tree,

0:22:340:22:38

so thereby you can't win.

0:22:380:22:40

You either get it too early

0:22:400:22:42

and it's dead before you put the decorations on.

0:22:420:22:45

So it's like, sort of, putting...

0:22:450:22:47

It's like doing full royal icing treatment on a digestive biscuit.

0:22:470:22:53

I don't like putting crap on the tree,

0:22:530:22:55

I don't like doing anything any of that stuff. Don't like it at all.

0:22:550:22:58

You think, does this room really look better now than it did before?

0:22:580:23:03

No.

0:23:030:23:04

Look.

0:23:050:23:08

It's not too bad!

0:23:080:23:10

There's still plenty of life there.

0:23:100:23:12

There is some sadistic bastard who designs Christmas tree lights.

0:23:120:23:17

That like, if one blows, you don't... Do you know what I mean?

0:23:170:23:21

You don't know how to mend it.

0:23:210:23:24

Is it one of those things where you just have to try every bulb

0:23:240:23:27

when it's on the tree?

0:23:270:23:29

We used to light them on fire,

0:23:290:23:30

bring them through the roofs of the buildings we used to live in,

0:23:300:23:34

light them on fire and throw them in the street.

0:23:340:23:36

That's what they're good for.

0:23:360:23:38

Ever seen one of those land on a taxi cab?

0:23:380:23:40

That's fun, that's Christmas.

0:23:400:23:43

By the way, not that it really matters,

0:23:440:23:47

but does anyone remember the actual story?

0:23:470:23:49

Anyone know what actually happened? Something about a big star?

0:23:490:23:53

Something about a census I seem to recall.

0:23:530:23:55

No room at the inn,

0:23:550:23:57

shepherds washing their socks by night, was it?

0:23:570:24:00

And who on earth was Good King Wenceslas anyway?

0:24:000:24:05

It's a bit unfortunate really with the traditional Christmas

0:24:050:24:08

and those three presents, isn't it?

0:24:080:24:10

Gold, frankincense and myrrh.

0:24:100:24:13

I mean, it would have been better if the three wise men

0:24:130:24:18

had come with gold,

0:24:180:24:22

barley wine, soap on a rope, or something like that.

0:24:220:24:25

If someone brings you frankincense, and myrrh,

0:24:250:24:28

that is the stuff you are supposed to give people when they die.

0:24:280:24:31

You know. So what are you showing the kid,

0:24:320:24:34

"I don't know if he's going to make it."

0:24:340:24:37

I think - it's only my view -

0:24:370:24:40

that the Three Wise Men were caught on the hop,

0:24:400:24:44

which is fair enough, it was the first Christmas.

0:24:440:24:47

They hadn't been planning, they hadn't been shopping,

0:24:470:24:50

they hadn't been told 120 shopping days until the birth of Christ.

0:24:500:24:56

If you were Jesus right now,

0:24:560:24:59

you'd be thinking, "Oh! What a waste!

0:24:590:25:02

"Why did I bother?"

0:25:020:25:04

So, with all this unavoidable and unutterable

0:25:060:25:09

festive crapulence back at home,

0:25:090:25:11

you could easily be forgiven for wanting to get away from it all.

0:25:110:25:15

Somewhere hot and sunny,

0:25:150:25:16

somewhere where you can leave the lunacy behind. Somewhere sane.

0:25:160:25:20

-Merry Christmas!

-Merry Christmas!

0:25:200:25:22

But no, forget it, there's no escape.

0:25:220:25:25

Wherever you go, Christmas blooming cheer wants to try and come with you.

0:25:250:25:30

Merry Christmas!

0:25:300:25:31

Happy Christmas!

0:25:310:25:33

Should we go away for Christmas this year?

0:25:330:25:36

Great romantic idea about travelling abroad

0:25:360:25:38

and sitting in the sun for Christmas.

0:25:380:25:40

In Mexico no less I went once with a girlfriend.

0:25:400:25:44

And...

0:25:440:25:46

Unmitigated disaster.

0:25:460:25:48

I couldn't be anywhere hot for Christmas.

0:25:480:25:51

Just the idea appals me.

0:25:510:25:53

I mean, it doesn't feel like Christmas anyway.

0:25:530:25:55

Where you end up is in some hotel with lots of ex-pat Brits

0:25:550:25:58

all with honkers and bloody hats with tassels on them,

0:25:580:26:01

going, "Merry Christmas."

0:26:010:26:03

Merry Christmas! Yay!

0:26:030:26:06

You might as well be in Oxford Street.

0:26:060:26:08

It was revolting, I hated it.

0:26:080:26:09

People go, "Oh, it's lovely, bit of winter sun, fantastic!"

0:26:090:26:12

Merry Christmas! Tis the season to be jolly.

0:26:120:26:16

Just think, too weird. It's weird, it's wrong.

0:26:160:26:18

I don't know, why do we want to be warm at Christmas?

0:26:180:26:21

It's supposed to be cold, isn't it?

0:26:210:26:23

People send you pictures of themselves having turkey

0:26:230:26:26

on the beach in Bondi Beach or something like that.

0:26:260:26:29

You know, that looks crap.

0:26:290:26:31

One year, Sharon said, "You know what we can do,

0:26:310:26:33

"We can get Concorde and go to Lapland."

0:26:330:26:35

I said "See you later."

0:26:350:26:37

You know, we spent Christmas Day

0:26:370:26:40

riding across the Sahara on camels,

0:26:400:26:45

which sounds lovely,

0:26:450:26:47

but who knew that the Sahara Desert is freezing cold in December.

0:26:470:26:54

And it was raining.

0:26:540:26:56

I was sat on a wet stinking camel.

0:26:560:26:59

I don't know if you've ever ridden on a camel before,

0:26:590:27:02

but they make this noise like a giant coffee percolator

0:27:020:27:07

and they foam at the mouth and my one kept turning around,

0:27:070:27:10

going "Bl-bl-bl-bllaaa! Bl-bl-bl-bllaaa!"

0:27:100:27:13

Like it was going to eat me.

0:27:130:27:14

# Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer... #

0:27:140:27:17

Or, of course, you could always choose to embrace the real spirit of the festive season

0:27:170:27:23

by going to the traditional home of Christmas, wherever that is.

0:27:230:27:27

Somewhere north, isn't it?

0:27:270:27:28

About six years ago, my sister and I went to Sweden for a holiday

0:27:300:27:33

and in one of the restaurants, reindeer was on the menu.

0:27:330:27:37

And we both looked at each other and thought

0:27:370:27:39

"That's not quite right, eating reindeer."

0:27:390:27:41

Then we thought how much do we hate Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a song?

0:27:410:27:47

So we took great delight in ordering and eating it, covered in sauce.

0:27:470:27:52

Imagining it was Rudolph and it was our revenge on that song.

0:27:530:27:57

In certain Middle European countries,

0:27:580:28:00

I believe they offer Noddy Holder on the menu.

0:28:000:28:03

One of the unvarnished joys of Christmas

0:28:050:28:08

is that it's a time to be with the family,

0:28:080:28:11

but which family?

0:28:110:28:13

His? Hers? The ex's?

0:28:130:28:14

Whichever one you choose, you're guaranteed to upset somebody

0:28:140:28:18

and isn't it fun to spend all that time on the motorway

0:28:180:28:21

with overtired and over-excited kids on the back seat?

0:28:210:28:24

What do we think?

0:28:240:28:26

Should we set off early to avoid the last-minute rush? Ha!

0:28:260:28:30

When I was a lad, we'd go up to Birmingham

0:28:300:28:33

where my mum's side of the family lived.

0:28:330:28:35

But I seem to remember it always started off,

0:28:350:28:40

first of all with this journey that seemed to take so long,

0:28:400:28:43

stuck in so much traffic with so many people on December 23rd.

0:28:430:28:47

And then at the end of the journey,

0:28:470:28:50

there being a period of about an hour and a half

0:28:500:28:53

where we just stood around

0:28:530:28:56

while my dad and various men from the family discussed the route

0:28:560:29:01

that he'd taken to get through Birmingham off the motorway.

0:29:010:29:05

The worst thing about Christmas is the hectic dash

0:29:050:29:09

from one eggy gift-giving event to another.

0:29:090:29:14

And you hurry from one arena of disappointment to a fresh one.

0:29:140:29:18

That's the kind of pressure that's horrible about Christmas.

0:29:180:29:20

One person wanting you and another person wanting you.

0:29:200:29:23

Do you know what, neither of you are having me,

0:29:230:29:26

I'm going to sit on the loo with a cooked turkey breast from Tesco

0:29:260:29:30

and drink three bottles of claret and a bottle of Scotch

0:29:300:29:33

with a portable television and you can all bugger off.

0:29:330:29:35

I have this memory of hours going by.

0:29:350:29:40

"What you did is you should have taken the A234 off of Stechford

0:29:400:29:43

"and that way you cut out the bottleneck at Digbeth

0:29:430:29:46

"and you go round the back of Erdington..."

0:29:460:29:48

I have had Christmases where I have had to have

0:29:520:29:55

more than one Christmas dinner on Christmas Day

0:29:550:29:58

for fear of offending people.

0:29:580:30:00

It's just been easier that way to eat two full Christmas dinners.

0:30:010:30:06

I can't do these people that drive,

0:30:060:30:07

do three different drives to keep everyone happy.

0:30:070:30:10

Once you pop a sprog out you can do anything.

0:30:100:30:11

"I'm sorry, I've got kids. We just can't travel, I've got a baby

0:30:110:30:14

"and no-one in the history of Earth has ever had a baby before.

0:30:140:30:18

"If I leave the house,

0:30:180:30:19

"we will all achieve gaseous form and die instantly".

0:30:190:30:22

"Everyone has to come to us now, because I'm lactating".

0:30:220:30:25

My dad going, "You see, the mistake I made was that at Sutton Coldfield I went..."

0:30:250:30:29

"Oh, right, well, that's what you did. In future, go..."

0:30:290:30:31

And this was Christmas to me.

0:30:310:30:34

I'm sure I've remembered it wrong,

0:30:340:30:36

but I seem to remember that going through most of Christmas

0:30:360:30:39

and then we left.

0:30:390:30:41

As for Christmas morning, it's brilliant. The roads are empty.

0:30:410:30:43

There's just a few malicious police going,

0:30:430:30:46

"Everyone's over the limit. Who shall we pick, PC Gary?"

0:30:460:30:48

"I don't know, PC Ga..." This is Southend Police.

0:30:480:30:51

"I don't know, they're probably all drunk. Isn't that right, PC Dave?"

0:30:510:30:54

So, one of the many things that grumpies like us don't do very well is buying presents for other people.

0:30:560:31:02

We're just not very good at it.

0:31:020:31:05

We can't work out why we have to give people presents

0:31:050:31:08

on Jesus's birthday anyway.

0:31:080:31:09

There's so much rubbish on sale that we can't work out what to buy anybody.

0:31:090:31:14

So we leave it and we leave it and then before you know where you are,

0:31:140:31:18

it's the last minute and you're in a panic.

0:31:180:31:23

And I will be stopping at every service station, panicking,

0:31:230:31:27

breaking out in a sweat like a Geordie in a spelling test.

0:31:270:31:30

And you try and find the biggest megastore,

0:31:300:31:33

where they sell everything under the one roof, as possible.

0:31:330:31:36

I go shopping on Christmas Eve, something like half-past three

0:31:360:31:40

I'll probably get into the shops on Christmas Eve.

0:31:400:31:42

And run out of ideas very, very quickly.

0:31:420:31:45

I tend to buy my father a book that I know he's already got,

0:31:450:31:50

so that I can have it.

0:31:500:31:51

Why would you go shopping on Christmas Eve?

0:31:510:31:54

Oh!

0:31:540:31:55

Er...

0:31:550:31:57

It's just a total waste of money and time.

0:31:570:32:00

I suppose it's the price you pay, isn't it?

0:32:000:32:03

For Christmas, "the giving season".

0:32:030:32:05

I know somebody that goes, "Oh, it's such a wonderful atmosphere, the carol singers... "

0:32:050:32:10

And you think, "What? You are mental!"

0:32:100:32:12

Crowds and crowds of like-minded, irritable, dead-eyed souls.

0:32:120:32:17

Buying presents for anyone is tricky enough,

0:32:210:32:24

but getting the right thing for your loved one?

0:32:240:32:26

Well, you've got more chance of parting a banker and his bonus.

0:32:260:32:30

Good luck with that.

0:32:300:32:32

You get the usual thing, don't you, when it comes to presents.

0:32:320:32:35

It's like, "Don't get me anything this year."

0:32:350:32:38

Would you risk that one?

0:32:390:32:41

Really?

0:32:410:32:42

In our family we've kind of got it down now to, it's got to be thoughtful.

0:32:420:32:46

I'm rubbish at being thoughtful.

0:32:470:32:49

Really rubbish at being thoughtful.

0:32:490:32:51

"Well, I thought I'd get you a golf-club polisher".

0:32:510:32:56

Especially presents for wife is very difficult, you know.

0:32:560:32:59

I think most men feel like this.

0:32:590:33:01

There's only one golden rule -

0:33:010:33:02

for God's sake, don't go anywhere near the kitchenware department.

0:33:020:33:06

If you're a last-minute shopper, and I think a lot of men are,

0:33:060:33:09

you get to this point on Christmas Eve with about two hours to spare

0:33:090:33:13

and you think, "Right, I've got to do it now."

0:33:130:33:16

And every shop you look into becomes a possible present for a minute,

0:33:160:33:19

you're looking at things - "I'll get her some perfume.

0:33:190:33:22

No, that's too obvious".

0:33:220:33:24

"I'll get her some underwear. Mm, no, wrong message.

0:33:240:33:27

"Well, right message, but the wrong time of year".

0:33:270:33:29

"Er, I'll get her a dress.

0:33:290:33:30

"What sort of dress shall I get her? "What dress? I don't know what dress.

0:33:300:33:33

"The one on the assistant looks really good".

0:33:330:33:36

"Erm, maybe I'll get her some meat.

0:33:360:33:37

"No, I'll get fish. That'll be really good,"

0:33:370:33:40

"It's going to be extinct soon. It'll be a collector's item".

0:33:400:33:43

"No, I can't, that's ridiculous. What will I get her?

0:33:430:33:45

"I'll put a bet on a horse. Yes, I'll put a bet on a horse".

0:33:450:33:48

"It'll be different, original..." Rubbish.

0:33:480:33:51

Last year, and this is true, there was about half an hour left.

0:33:550:33:57

I was in Wimbledon, I was doing a pantomime in Wimbledon.

0:33:570:34:00

And a van went past me for the London Door Company,

0:34:000:34:03

and I briefly thought, "I could get her a door!"

0:34:030:34:07

# The holly and the ivy... #

0:34:070:34:09

OK, it's almost Christmas.

0:34:090:34:12

So we need to go to a place of spiritual awakening.

0:34:120:34:15

A place where we can imbibe the spirit of peace and love

0:34:150:34:18

and goodwill to all men.

0:34:180:34:20

A place where we can lift up our hearts and sing.

0:34:200:34:23

The local church for the midnight carol service maybe.

0:34:230:34:27

No?

0:34:270:34:28

Where else could we possibly express the true spirit of Christmas

0:34:280:34:32

in the 21st century?

0:34:320:34:34

# Jingle bells, jingle, jangle

0:34:340:34:37

# Jingle all the way

0:34:370:34:39

# Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh, hey!

0:34:390:34:46

# Jingle bells, jingle bells

0:34:460:34:49

# Jingle all the way

0:34:490:34:52

# Oh, what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh. #

0:34:520:34:57

RETCHING

0:34:570:34:58

When I was younger, you used to go home and see all your friends,

0:34:580:35:02

you'd go out and go to a pub.

0:35:020:35:03

There was always a pub on the market square.

0:35:030:35:05

You'd all meet up, 20, 30 of you.

0:35:050:35:08

You'd get pissed, you'd come home, you'd puke in the hallway.

0:35:080:35:12

You'd get up the next day totally hung-over,

0:35:120:35:14

and ruin Christmas for everybody.

0:35:140:35:16

So says mother.

0:35:160:35:17

Christmas Eve is a time when all of the sort of difficulties of Christmas crystallise, if you like,

0:35:170:35:24

in that the enforced jollity and the stress all combine

0:35:240:35:29

to make it probably the most violent evening of the year, I would think.

0:35:290:35:33

And now I stay at home, get totally drunk,

0:35:330:35:36

puke up in the hallway, wake up the next day totally hung-over,

0:35:360:35:40

ruin Christmas for everyone.

0:35:400:35:41

There must be more pub fights on Christmas Eve than at any other time.

0:35:410:35:46

The stress of having to enjoy yourself

0:35:470:35:49

induces this kind of terrible drinking behaviour,

0:35:490:35:53

so I don't think I've had a hangover-free Christmas ever.

0:35:530:35:59

That's a bit sad.

0:35:590:36:01

Or is that quite cool?

0:36:010:36:03

No, it's a bit sad.

0:36:030:36:04

Happy Christmas, Lance.

0:36:040:36:06

And Happy New Year to you!

0:36:060:36:08

So, you've had a skinful the night before...

0:36:120:36:15

ALARM RINGS

0:36:150:36:16

..Crawled in at 3am, so you look and feel like a rat's bum

0:36:160:36:19

when you wake up the next morning.

0:36:190:36:21

Then it dawns on you.

0:36:210:36:22

You're supposed to be full of Christmas cheer

0:36:230:36:26

and all you're full of is dyspepsia.

0:36:260:36:28

And guess what else is happening to complete your joy?

0:36:280:36:31

Yes, that's right.

0:36:310:36:33

The in-laws are coming over.

0:36:330:36:35

Oh, joy(!) Oh, bliss(!)

0:36:350:36:38

DOORBELL RINGS

0:36:380:36:39

Oh, my God!

0:36:390:36:41

Yes, we're all grumpy.

0:36:440:36:47

Grumpy men and grumpy women, grumpy boys and grumpy girls.

0:36:470:36:51

Miserable in tooth and claw.

0:36:510:36:52

But even we, hard-hearted and dyed in the wool cynics that we are,

0:36:520:36:56

can't help but get a little dewy-eyed on Christmas morning.

0:36:560:37:01

What could be more magical

0:37:020:37:04

than the giving and receiving of presents?

0:37:040:37:06

Ho!

0:37:060:37:07

The big difference between posh people and common people

0:37:070:37:10

is that common people open their presents first thing in the morning

0:37:100:37:14

and posh people open theirs later on.

0:37:140:37:17

You might want to remember that.

0:37:170:37:20

But even this simple stuff is fraught with 1,000 complications.

0:37:200:37:23

Did they spend more on you than you did on them?

0:37:230:37:27

Did you accidentally give them back the same hot water bottle cosy

0:37:270:37:30

they gave you last Christmas?

0:37:300:37:31

And hardest of all, when you receive something you don't want

0:37:310:37:36

and have given away something you do want,

0:37:360:37:38

you are supposed to look happy.

0:37:380:37:40

How's that supposed to work, then?

0:37:400:37:43

Let me set the scene for you.

0:37:440:37:46

Knocking at the door, entering with your hands laden

0:37:460:37:50

with this pile of presents,

0:37:500:37:52

like a scene out of Meet Me In St Louis.

0:37:520:37:54

In you go with your presents for all your brothers and sisters

0:37:540:37:58

and families and friends and all their little ones...

0:37:580:38:01

Cut to leaving the place with one small paperback

0:38:010:38:05

that you've already read.

0:38:050:38:07

The really rubbish thing about Christmas is you have to enjoy the gift of giving.

0:38:070:38:11

You actually have to do that, that's one of those things,

0:38:110:38:14

when you're told younger that the joy is in the giving and you think, "Oh, piss off!"

0:38:140:38:18

No, the joy's the frenzied unwrapping,

0:38:180:38:22

like a sort of crazed Velociraptor,

0:38:220:38:25

tearing its prey apart like that.

0:38:250:38:28

When the Christmas spirit normally hits me,

0:38:280:38:31

is normally that 30-second period on Christmas morning

0:38:310:38:34

when I grab a present from under the tree and rip off enough paper

0:38:340:38:38

to realise that somebody's bought me the same old tat again.

0:38:380:38:41

Actually, what I've done is sometimes,

0:38:410:38:43

and it's a bit inexcusable this,

0:38:430:38:45

I've looked at it and thought,

0:38:450:38:46

"What a pile of cack you've sent me here!"

0:38:460:38:49

"Who don't I like very much I've got to send a present to?

0:38:490:38:51

"I'll send it to them". I redo it and send it back.

0:38:510:38:53

It's going to be something that someone gave them

0:38:530:38:56

that they didn't want that they gave you cos it's last-minute stuff.

0:38:560:38:58

If you have people over at your house,

0:38:580:39:00

they feel they've got to bring something.

0:39:000:39:02

If you come to my house, don't bring anything.

0:39:020:39:04

Just come. Bring liquor. Bring Scotch.

0:39:040:39:06

As my nan lost her mind more and more,

0:39:060:39:09

she would just wrap up found objects, weird objects.

0:39:090:39:13

You know, she'd just wrap... My brother got a stone one year.

0:39:130:39:16

It was just clearly a stone that she'd found.

0:39:160:39:18

She'd be like, "Something you're going to like".

0:39:180:39:20

It's just a stone in wrapping paper you have to...

0:39:200:39:23

My dad, you're getting the eye.

0:39:230:39:24

You have to go, "Brilliant! Just what I wanted, a stone!"

0:39:240:39:26

My mum, God bless her, she will buy presents,

0:39:260:39:29

but she'll buy them on spec in the middle of the year.

0:39:290:39:32

She'll go somewhere, to something like...

0:39:320:39:36

the Wensleydale Cheese Sculpture Centre, or something like that.

0:39:360:39:42

And she will get carried away in the moment.

0:39:420:39:46

It's not about the getting. It's about the giving.

0:39:460:39:50

I realise that, but...

0:39:500:39:52

But...

0:39:520:39:54

Giving sucks.

0:39:540:39:55

Oh, yes.

0:39:590:40:00

So, when was the last time you received a present you really wanted?

0:40:000:40:04

You know, like a motorbike or a drum kit?

0:40:040:40:07

As it is, if you can manage to look grateful for an electric tin-opener,

0:40:070:40:11

you deserve an Academy Award.

0:40:110:40:13

"Oh, how lovely, Marjorie, just what I always wanted.

0:40:130:40:16

"Did you keep the receipt?"

0:40:160:40:18

Oh, you are a one! Honestly!

0:40:180:40:21

We asked our grumpiest to show us how to do it.

0:40:230:40:26

Oh, that's so sweet.

0:40:260:40:27

You shouldn't have. Really, you shouldn't have.

0:40:270:40:30

What lovely, appropriate paper.

0:40:300:40:32

A lot of tape on this!

0:40:320:40:35

Now, what an original piece!

0:40:410:40:43

Really nice. Is this glass?

0:40:430:40:45

-GLASS SMASHES

-Nice.

0:40:450:40:47

That's lovely. Now, I can... I'd put that in... In a bedroom.

0:40:510:40:57

Oh, God, that is... That's lovely.

0:40:570:41:00

Oh, it's so sweet. Thank you so much.

0:41:000:41:03

It's really thoughtful of you.

0:41:030:41:06

Oh, that's so cute! Oh, I love it!

0:41:080:41:12

Oh, thanks.

0:41:120:41:14

Scary, right?

0:41:140:41:16

Nice. Did you...

0:41:180:41:20

Did you like the diamond necklace I bought you?

0:41:200:41:23

Here you go, Granddad.

0:41:240:41:27

For common people, then, it's time for lunch.

0:41:270:41:30

Oh, what a treat.

0:41:300:41:31

Enough turkey to give you constipation for a month

0:41:310:41:34

washed down with sweet, fizzy wine,

0:41:340:41:37

because Grandma doesn't like that dry muck you usually serve.

0:41:370:41:40

Never mind!

0:41:400:41:41

There's always the consistently disappointing crackers to pull,

0:41:410:41:45

the dry leathery turkey to eat, the fart-inducing sprouts to avoid

0:41:450:41:49

and the slightly too-drunk in-laws to placate.

0:41:490:41:53

Great(!) So the wait's been worth it(!)

0:41:530:41:57

Christmas dinner. Well, I haven't always cooked Christmas dinner,

0:41:580:42:02

because I've often gone off to family and in-laws and things.

0:42:020:42:06

But now I've got kids of my own, I have done it a couple of times,

0:42:060:42:10

because I want to start my own traditions that they can take

0:42:100:42:15

and memories of their mother

0:42:150:42:17

screaming and crawling on the kitchen floor,

0:42:170:42:20

going, "What happened to those?!

0:42:200:42:22

"They were like parsnips when I put them in and now...

0:42:220:42:26

"Now they're...

0:42:260:42:27

"What is that? What is that?"

0:42:270:42:29

My mum left the giblets in a plastic bag in the turkey

0:42:290:42:33

and the plastic melted in the turkey on to the spuds,

0:42:330:42:36

so everything tasted of plastic.

0:42:360:42:38

It was just so miserable, because my dad just couldn't...

0:42:380:42:41

Doesn't have the ability to laugh it off.

0:42:410:42:43

"The whole Christmas ruined!"

0:42:430:42:45

One year they had Christmas dinner at midnight in my house,

0:42:460:42:50

because it takes me so long to make Christmas dinner,

0:42:500:42:53

cos I get really into it

0:42:530:42:54

and like, start peeling cranberries with my bloody...you know.

0:42:540:42:58

And doing all sorts...

0:42:580:42:59

I'd have to make it all from scratch and it drives my family nuts.

0:42:590:43:02

And they in turn are then horrible to me because they're hungry.

0:43:020:43:06

I can't bear it when Christmas dinner turns up and some of it's cold.

0:43:060:43:09

You don't feel you've got the right to moan,

0:43:090:43:11

cos someone's been trapped in the kitchen the whole day.

0:43:110:43:13

"Excuse me, my mashed parsnips are at room temperature.

0:43:130:43:16

"It's unacceptable".

0:43:160:43:17

It's the most important meal of the entire year,

0:43:170:43:20

so what do we choose out of everything that you could have?

0:43:200:43:24

What do we choose?

0:43:240:43:25

Turkey with cranberry jelly, which is basically like chicken with jam.

0:43:250:43:31

It's like posh chicken with jam, isn't it?

0:43:310:43:34

And let's serve it up with Brussels sprouts,

0:43:340:43:37

which are the grapes of the devil.

0:43:370:43:40

So, let us pause just for a moment to consider the gentle turkey

0:43:410:43:45

and what Christmas means to it.

0:43:450:43:46

Now, two weeks before Christmas,

0:43:460:43:49

the turkey population of Britain is probably about 10 million.

0:43:490:43:52

A week later, probably about a hundred.

0:43:520:43:54

Basically, it's turkey genocide.

0:43:540:43:57

But these days, just being a common or garden turkey isn't enough, oh, no.

0:43:580:44:03

We need to know the provenance of our Christmas lunch.

0:44:030:44:06

You've got to have a turkey

0:44:060:44:07

that has been spoon-fed hummingbird nectar from a pipette

0:44:070:44:11

and massaged on the slopes of Mount Fuji,

0:44:110:44:13

before being given its own choice of humane killing

0:44:130:44:16

at the hands of a vegan conscientious objector or something.

0:44:160:44:20

I invested in an organic, free-range, privately-educated...

0:44:210:44:28

turkey from a high family.

0:44:280:44:30

It was knighted, actually, I think, at one point.

0:44:300:44:33

You get all these people saying, "I'd only get an organic turkey

0:44:330:44:36

"that's been allowed to go on holiday twice in its lifetime,

0:44:360:44:40

"all-inclusive, of course."

0:44:400:44:41

And I still managed to make it taste like a processed chicken roll.

0:44:410:44:46

And my mum, I remember, she used to buy this enormous turkey.

0:44:460:44:50

It was like the size of a small toddler.

0:44:500:44:52

And try and shove it in the oven

0:44:520:44:54

and we'd be there at 11 o'clock at night still waiting for this turkey.

0:44:540:44:58

It goes beyond just, we only eat it once a year.

0:44:580:45:01

We purposely buy something we've got no idea how to cook,

0:45:010:45:04

and then celebrate it.

0:45:040:45:06

Ha!

0:45:090:45:10

Who looks inadequate now?

0:45:100:45:12

My dad, with his Neanderthal,

0:45:120:45:14

has to comment on the actual meat he's eating.

0:45:140:45:17

That's all the conversation can be about. "That's a solid crown, boy."

0:45:170:45:21

The only thing people like on Christmas dinner,

0:45:210:45:23

them little sausages, pigs in blankets.

0:45:230:45:25

That's what everyone likes.

0:45:250:45:27

Just give them a plate full of those and some mash.

0:45:270:45:29

Mash and gravy with them in the middle.

0:45:290:45:32

That's it! Everybody's happy!

0:45:320:45:34

"Solid meat. Never forget the value of what you're eating."

0:45:340:45:37

That's all he talks about.

0:45:370:45:38

Yes, Christmas is a time for expensive and useless rubbish.

0:45:400:45:45

Greetings cards for people you see every week, presents you don't want,

0:45:450:45:48

food that turns your stomach,

0:45:480:45:51

decorations that are a fire hazard,

0:45:510:45:53

but what is the biggest waste of money of all at Christmas time?

0:45:530:45:57

The biggest of all?

0:45:570:45:59

It's a hard competition to win.

0:45:590:46:01

REPORTER: The girls work harder, the more their work is pulled to pieces.

0:46:010:46:05

They're making Christmas crackers, with trinkets

0:46:050:46:07

of a type which give kiddies an excuse to fight when they drop out.

0:46:070:46:10

And now to insert the treasures which will rattle

0:46:100:46:13

when tiny hands shake 'em with a "Guess what's inside?"

0:46:130:46:15

There's a huge opportunity for firms to deeply rip people off

0:46:200:46:24

on Christmas Day

0:46:240:46:27

and it's almost Dickensian.

0:46:270:46:29

Cos you can imagine them going,

0:46:290:46:31

"Mm, watch what... Now we can put anything in the cracker.

0:46:310:46:36

"It won't matter. We'll wrap it up and make it look pretty!"

0:46:360:46:39

"And they'll have bought it, they don't know what's in it!"

0:46:390:46:43

"They've already bought it,

0:46:430:46:44

"they've already put it on their table, it doesn't matter!"

0:46:440:46:47

They've got a thing that goes "crack" that works occasionally.

0:46:470:46:52

You've got a toy that even the most easily pleased child,

0:46:520:46:57

who's not going to get much for Christmas,

0:46:570:47:00

will think, "Well, that's crap!"

0:47:000:47:02

You get a joke that's not funny

0:47:020:47:04

and you get a hat that makes you look like a moron.

0:47:040:47:08

That's what you get in a cracker.

0:47:090:47:11

Great(!) Let's all buy three dozen for Christmas Day!

0:47:110:47:15

Let's not!

0:47:150:47:16

Let's boycott the cracker industry and put them out of business.

0:47:160:47:20

The bastards.

0:47:200:47:21

-"Who invented fireworks?"

-Me!

0:47:210:47:25

"Some bright spark(!)"

0:47:250:47:27

If they were really fun

0:47:300:47:32

and represented all the jollity of our times,

0:47:320:47:35

in March and August and other times of the year,

0:47:350:47:38

people would go, "It'd be great to have some Christmas crackers,

0:47:380:47:41

"because they just make the party go off."

0:47:410:47:43

And the worst thing is, if you have to pull a cracker

0:47:430:47:46

with someone that you don't know, it's a bit awkward,

0:47:460:47:48

because there's a bit of - what's the cracker etiquette?

0:47:480:47:51

If I pull too hard, they'll think I'm a bit of a cow.

0:47:510:47:54

If I'm a bit flimsy with it, they'll walk all over me, you know.

0:47:540:47:57

So it's a bizarre sort of etiquette.

0:47:570:48:00

Oh, nice! Lovely!

0:48:030:48:05

"What did one pig say to the other pig?"

0:48:050:48:08

"Let's be pen pals."

0:48:100:48:12

"What do you get if you cross a skeleton and a detective?"

0:48:130:48:17

"Sherlock Bones."

0:48:180:48:20

"When is a boat like a pile of snow?"

0:48:200:48:24

"When it's adrift."

0:48:250:48:26

Oh! This is brilliant!

0:48:280:48:31

"Where do sick gnomes go?

0:48:310:48:35

"To the Elf Centre."

0:48:350:48:36

"Why are brides unlucky?

0:48:370:48:40

"Well, they never marry the best man."

0:48:400:48:43

"What do you call a row of men waiting for a haircut?

0:48:430:48:47

"A barber-queue."

0:48:480:48:49

WAH-WAH-WAHHHHH!

0:48:490:48:50

What a pile of cack!

0:48:500:48:52

I'd be very happy if one of those stupid jokes

0:48:520:48:57

actually got my mouth

0:48:570:48:58

just to turn up a little bit at the corners.

0:48:580:49:01

In 41 years I haven't found one yet.

0:49:010:49:03

I've based a lot of my material on cracker jokes, actually.

0:49:040:49:09

So, once we've forced down more food in one sitting

0:49:120:49:14

than we'd normally have in a week, what do we have for dessert?

0:49:140:49:18

A light sorbet, perhaps?

0:49:180:49:19

A palate cleansing fruit salad?

0:49:190:49:21

Oh, no, this is Christmas, and it's the law.

0:49:210:49:25

And what is that?

0:49:250:49:27

Seriously?

0:49:270:49:28

It looks like doggie doo-doos.

0:49:280:49:31

Tastes like doggie doo-doos.

0:49:310:49:33

Even takes longer to prepare than doggie's doo-doos.

0:49:330:49:37

Nobody eats Christmas pudding.

0:49:380:49:40

You buy it, steam it for 73 days, literally, it comes out,

0:49:400:49:45

it's like you could kill somebody with a Christmas pudding.

0:49:450:49:48

If you hit someone on the head with a Christmas pudding,

0:49:480:49:50

they would certainly have some sort of haemorrhage in their brain.

0:49:500:49:54

I don't think anybody likes them.

0:49:540:49:55

Does anybody like Christmas pudding?

0:49:550:49:58

Really? Come on!

0:49:580:49:59

Ugh!

0:49:590:50:00

Nah.

0:50:000:50:01

How come you get to a point where, under normal circumstances,

0:50:010:50:05

you would say, "No thanks, no.

0:50:050:50:06

"I won't have any pudding, thank you very much."

0:50:060:50:09

And everybody would accept that.

0:50:090:50:10

They'd say, they're not having any pudding.

0:50:100:50:13

They go, "No, just a little bit of Christmas pudding."

0:50:130:50:16

You go, "No, really full."

0:50:160:50:17

"I spent ages making this Christmas pudding."

0:50:170:50:20

No-one likes it.

0:50:200:50:21

It's like this much cake,

0:50:210:50:24

and all this kind of jellied, dried out fruit stuff

0:50:240:50:27

and most of it's apricot,

0:50:270:50:28

and some people, they stick liquorice stuff in there -

0:50:280:50:31

it's the nastiest crap ever.

0:50:310:50:33

"Yes, but I made this specially.

0:50:330:50:35

"I took ages making this Christmas pudding."

0:50:350:50:37

"Can't believe you're not eating this..."

0:50:370:50:39

"I'll just have a little bit, then."

0:50:390:50:41

MUSIC: Bond Theme

0:50:410:50:44

Lunch over and it's time to sit down in front of the telly

0:50:440:50:47

where they operate a little-known law,

0:50:470:50:49

that no film less than 15 years old and on its 18th repeat

0:50:490:50:54

is allowed to be shown.

0:50:540:50:55

Did you know that? Oh, yes! It's the law, all right.

0:50:550:50:59

Oh, I do loathe a James Bond film at bloody Christmas, don't you?

0:51:010:51:05

I mean, James Bond is surely a brand

0:51:050:51:09

that wants, kind of, putting out of its misery, isn't it?

0:51:090:51:12

If I have one more Christmas

0:51:120:51:16

where somebody says they want to watch It's A Wonderful Life,

0:51:160:51:19

I will emigrate.

0:51:190:51:22

I hate that film.

0:51:220:51:23

There's some good telly on at Christmas.

0:51:230:51:25

Except for that Queen's Speech. They got that on again.

0:51:250:51:28

The news bulletin at six on Christmas Day is always well worth watching.

0:51:280:51:32

Good afternoon. The Queen has spoken...

0:51:340:51:37

They report the Queen's Speech like it's news.

0:51:370:51:40

I dunno why they bovver. I mean, it's not very funny, is it?

0:51:400:51:43

It's a prime slot, that.

0:51:430:51:45

If she, you know, got a song in there or something,

0:51:450:51:47

she could have had the Christmas number one.

0:51:470:51:49

Then she could have been celebrating keeping Simon Cowell out of the way.

0:51:490:51:53

It'd be a result all round.

0:51:530:51:55

All I would say is, if we're going to have the Queen's Speech

0:51:550:51:57

then just put a bit of oomph into it.

0:51:570:51:59

But rhe sad thing, really, about Christmas now is

0:51:590:52:02

that a lot of youngsters seriously don't know the meaning of Christmas

0:52:020:52:06

and they genuinely don't know

0:52:060:52:08

that it's the time when we celebrate the birth and the life and the work

0:52:080:52:11

of Morecambe and Wise.

0:52:110:52:13

SNORING

0:52:130:52:14

# Bring me sunshine. In your smile... #

0:52:140:52:17

Yes, it's a time for ritual, for customs, for ceremony

0:52:180:52:22

and for falling out with your loved ones.

0:52:220:52:25

It's the end of the year and frankly, you've had them up to here.

0:52:250:52:29

Add a hangover, a bellyful of constipation,

0:52:290:52:32

a glass of cheap plonk and the Queen's Christmas message,

0:52:320:52:36

and you have a recipe for the St Valentine's Day Massacre.

0:52:360:52:39

# Through... #

0:52:390:52:40

MUSIC: Sex And The City Theme

0:52:400:52:43

It only takes a little bit to get you right back to when you were a kid.

0:52:430:52:47

You know when you were a kid and you really hated that auntie,

0:52:470:52:49

or your brother was a tosser or your mother just had it in for you.

0:52:490:52:52

So I'm doing a lot of this. I'm like...

0:52:520:52:55

I feel like Robert De Niro. I'm like...

0:52:550:52:58

"Talking to me? Talking to me? I know you're not talking to me."

0:52:580:53:01

It's such a vulnerable time when you all get together

0:53:010:53:04

and that's when you revert to type,

0:53:040:53:05

you revert to those horrible old Christmases

0:53:050:53:09

when you were a teenager and your hormones were running wild

0:53:090:53:13

and you never asked to be born!

0:53:130:53:14

And everybody does that,

0:53:140:53:16

probably about an hour-and-a-half after they've eaten.

0:53:160:53:19

We're still doing the family Christmas with my dad,

0:53:190:53:22

because my dad always says, he starts miserable,

0:53:220:53:25

he starts the day by being Kryptonite in the corner.

0:53:250:53:27

"Shouldn't have bought it, wasted your money,"

0:53:270:53:30

opening presents, a glimpse of scrotum through the dressing gown.

0:53:300:53:33

Then you've got certain family members

0:53:330:53:35

who can't handle their liquor

0:53:350:53:36

and they get like that and you've got to bite your tongue.

0:53:360:53:40

Then he drinks four Stellas and becomes irritatingly jovial,

0:53:400:53:43

swears until he offends my mum at dinner,

0:53:430:53:45

then goes back into depression at the end of the night,

0:53:450:53:48

"My life, it's a piece of shit, innit, boy?"

0:53:480:53:50

It's tough because, like, I'm newly married,

0:53:500:53:53

so I don't want to knock out my uncle.

0:53:530:53:55

If you're having more arguments than on a normal Sunday or something like that

0:53:550:54:00

it's probably because you've succumbed to the pressure,

0:54:000:54:03

you're thinking, "Why aren't we having more fun?"

0:54:030:54:06

"Look! The fun monitor's dipped below 100.

0:54:060:54:09

"And according to New Labour's guidelines,

0:54:090:54:12

"we should be having 120 degrees of fun by 3:15.

0:54:120:54:17

"It's all gone wrong!"

0:54:170:54:19

That's the key to getting through Christmas,

0:54:190:54:21

is drinking just the right amount of alcohol that you don't turn violent,

0:54:210:54:24

but enough that blocks out reality.

0:54:240:54:26

Pretty much a tip for life as well.

0:54:260:54:28

I mean, there is a great relief

0:54:280:54:30

if you've got a family Christmas over with

0:54:300:54:32

and no one's, kind of, punched each other, really.

0:54:320:54:36

You think, "That was one of the better ones, wasn't it?"

0:54:360:54:38

If the Queen's speech is over,

0:54:400:54:42

then it's probably a good 45 minutes since you finished lunch,

0:54:420:54:46

so time for a little snack, I think.

0:54:460:54:48

Fancy some cold cuts, Auntie Gloria?

0:54:480:54:51

I love all the food.

0:54:510:54:52

But then I get the guilt thing over it.

0:54:520:54:56

You know...

0:54:560:54:57

It's just, it's over done.

0:54:570:55:00

It's like, the amount of food that gets thrown away,

0:55:000:55:04

Christmas Day, is a joke.

0:55:040:55:06

Never mind.

0:55:070:55:09

With Christmas over for another year,

0:55:090:55:12

we can all look forward to Boxing Day.

0:55:120:55:14

A time for realising you've seen that box-set of DVDs you got yesterday

0:55:140:55:19

and that someone's given you the paperback of the John Grisham you read nine months ago.

0:55:190:55:24

But it's all OK,

0:55:240:55:26

because you've got that greatest treat of all to look forward to -

0:55:260:55:30

the leftovers.

0:55:300:55:31

Boxing Day for me means one thing - meat sweats,

0:55:320:55:36

the sweat of eating too much meat, that pallid...

0:55:360:55:39

The sweat that forms on your brow when you've eaten too much meat

0:55:390:55:42

and your body's going, "Ooh! I don't know what to do about this."

0:55:420:55:46

Things start getting curried, don't they?

0:55:460:55:48

The British urge to curry everything that's left over.

0:55:480:55:50

"Don't sit there too long, Nan, or I'll curry you."

0:55:500:55:53

Cold meat sweat.

0:55:530:55:54

That feeling behind your eyes that you've eaten too much meat,

0:55:540:55:58

that vegetarians will never understand.

0:55:580:56:00

My dad just curried everything.

0:56:000:56:02

I reckon if there's ever an apocalypse

0:56:020:56:04

and we're all just half-burnt bodies

0:56:040:56:05

and the world's been flattened into an ashy dust,

0:56:050:56:07

there'll be British people going round currying everything left.

0:56:070:56:10

And I do make turkey soup and I do make turkey curry,

0:56:100:56:13

I do have turkey sandwiches that evening.

0:56:130:56:15

We do have turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.

0:56:150:56:17

Turkey, turkey, turkey.

0:56:170:56:18

You don't go back to work or anything.

0:56:180:56:20

You just watch loads of telly and eat the leftovers.

0:56:200:56:24

Or as Spanish people call it, tapas.

0:56:240:56:26

Do you know what?

0:56:260:56:27

I always go into the new year feeling a bit depressed.

0:56:270:56:31

I don't know why, I just always have.

0:56:310:56:34

It's that sort of horrible black hole after Christmas, isn't it?

0:56:340:56:37

I feel relieved that Christmas is over, to be honest.

0:56:370:56:40

It's been building up and building up.

0:56:400:56:42

It's always, always a disappointment.

0:56:420:56:44

It doesn't live up to much.

0:56:440:56:46

I'm sure that's why some people are on drugs.

0:56:460:56:49

Boxing Day is the day to buy sofas.

0:56:490:56:52

But didn't it come from... Isn't that supposed to be the present day,

0:56:520:56:56

when you box something up and give something to somebody?

0:56:560:56:58

Or is it the day you knock the person out

0:56:580:57:00

that you've been wanting to knock out all year?

0:57:000:57:03

Because I'd like it to be the latter.

0:57:030:57:05

And you just need to rest before the nightmare of new year comes.

0:57:050:57:09

So it's the best part of it, I think, that little bit in midweek,

0:57:090:57:12

when you don't see anybody, you don't speak to anybody

0:57:120:57:15

and you keep yourself to yourself and grumpiness reigns.

0:57:150:57:19

I like it.

0:57:200:57:22

# Oh, Santa

0:57:220:57:24

# I've been waiting on you... #

0:57:260:57:29

That's funny, kid. Because...

0:57:320:57:35

I've been coming for you.

0:57:350:57:38

Ugh!

0:57:400:57:41

# Oh, Santa

0:57:420:57:44

# I've been killing just for fun.

0:57:440:57:49

OZZY: I think Christmas is the biggest load of bollocks ever.

0:57:490:57:52

Meet the new breed of grumpies: a bit younger but no less embittered. With tales of seasonal Tourette's, inappropriate present-buying and the eating of reindeer, here is the latest in a long line of celebrities with hilarious tales of festive humbug.

Ozzy Osbourne considers himself lucky to have missed the whole thing one year following a horrific quad bike injury; Huey Morgan would rather throw burning conifers off the roof; John Thomson likes confusing his parents by sending them anonymous cards; Neil Morrissey may elect to spend the time locked away in the loo with a portable TV, a few bottles of wine and a turkey sandwich; and Ronni Ancona thinks sprouts are the grapes of the devil.

Why? Because it's Christmas again. Have a very grumpy Christmas everyone.