J-P Wooding: Christmas TV traditions remain

James Bond film Skyfall is on J-P's radar this Christmas
James Bond film Skyfall is on J-P's radar this Christmas

My annual purchase of the Radio Times shall take place this week.

I may even buy a new highlighter for the occasion.

In years gone by we would highlight the programmes we wanted to watch or record over the two weeks and stocked up on fresh VHS blank video cassettes.

Now, though, with the set-top boxes that occupy the space left by obsolete VCRs and the further increase of repeats, surely there isn’t the need for the neon pens?

Wrong; it is part of Christmas tradition to enjoy some of the best, classic television and this year Bond is back too.

Old favourites will undoubtedly surface as about 60 per cent of programmes spread over the four main channels will be repeats.

Scattered among them will be a smattering of premieres including Skyfall on ITV on Christmas Eve and Avengers Assemble on the BBC.

Bond used to be the classic blockbuster that followed the Queen’s speech when I was younger, so I’m glad his deadly skills are making an appearance.

I’m pleased as it seems to me that more and more animated movies have recently become the films to help me process three pounds of brussels sprouts.

I will use the “Tome of Television” to highlight what I’d like to see.

However, instead of programming multiple VCRs, I shall just set the Sky box to keep the shows for later.

One item I won’t be watching is Alan Titchmarsh going through the Queen’s garden; I certainly don’t want to see that as I’m offering my nuts around the family!

In defence of the repeats this year the BBC has stated that more than 90 per cent of programmes, at peak times, will be brand new, including Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, which is sure to be a winner.

They have a point; a lot of television over the festivities will be almost background TV, if something new is watched then the next show may be left on.

It will be the battle of the peak times that the broadcasters will concentrate on with Downtown Abbey vying with Mrs Brown’s Boys for the top spot.

I do, though, miss seeing the regular escapades of the Trotter brothers and I understand that BBC2 are reminding us of just how good The Two Ronnies were.

I am looking forward to the Top Gear special, especially after the recent incident in Argentina.

The highlight for me though will involve someone who can deliver all of the presents quicker than Santa himself.

He doesn’t use a sleigh; he has an old blue box.

I’ve always said he could use his talents to help Santa one year for a Christmas special...

Read more from J-P here.