"SO, DAVE, DLT ... WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS?"
Stereo! STER-WEEEE-OOOOHHH! It's TV Cream's fantasy Radio 1 Christmas Day schedule ...
Jingle Montage (time immemorial)
"Stereo FMMMMMMMMMMMM! Britain's favourite, Radio 1!"
05:00 Adrian John (1986)
The man in the ultra-'cool' tinted shades held down the misleadingly named 'early breakfast' slot (normally listened to by no-one bar a handful of insomniacs and the odd teenager afflicted by a sudden bout of curiosity over what happened in radio outside of normal sociable broadcasting hours) for most of the 1980s, and as he often did the corresponding duties on Christmas Day as well it's only fair that he should get a look in here. Plenty of years to choose from, but 1986 gets TVC's vote in honour of the general dominance enjoyed by The Housemartins, Pet Shop Boys, The Communards, Swing Out Sister and the ailing Smiths during the preceding twelve months.
07:00 Wake Up To Christmas
With Keith Chegwin And Maggie Philbin(1981)
While their bearded overlord, himself no stranger to Christmas Days on Radio 1, was busily establishing himself as a mainstay of mid- morning BBC1 Yuletide schedules and a general master of doling out presents to underprivileged youngsters while indulging in witty japes with BBC 'top brass' atop the telecom tower, the romantically-entangled younger members of the "Swap Shop" team tried their hand at a spot of early morning entertainment on Radio 1 for a couple of years. Expect plenty of 'chats' with Adam Ant and Toyah.
08:00 Kenny Everett's
Christmas Show (1969)
Thanks to various combinations of sackings, suspensions, scandals and scarpering in the general direction of commercial radio, Cuddly Ken surprisingly only got to do a handful of Christmas Day broadcasts for Radio 1. From the days when his playlist consisted mainly of pop- psych, bubblegum and however many repeated plays of the latest Beatles release that his endearing overenthusiasm would allow, this captured him at the height of his powers as he bantered with Granny and Crisp and messed around with the intros to Crosby, Stills and Nash singles.
10:00 Simon Bates' Solid
Supposedly a showcase for timeless classics but all too often used as yet another excuse to play ELO and Supertramp on daytime radio well past their sell-by date, the variously-named Christmas Day incarnation of the Golden Hour ("it was the year of the 1992 General Election... but *what was the year*?" as Armando Iannucci would put it many years later) was generally manned by Bates. Stoically maintained 'just the hits' approach mercifully ruled out the possibility of an extra-maudlin 'Our Tune' special designed to bring down anyone who might have had the temerity to allow themselves to become imbued with a modicum of Christmas spirit, but there was still plenty of room for reminiscence about Bates' achievements in radio during the previous twelve months (normally something about broadcasting from vast Arctic wastes and talking about early fighter planes a lot) and, occasionally, the odd trademark hand-wringing self- righteous rant about something "that we shouldn't forget today, just because we might be enjoying ourselves with the family, a bit, on this day". Class. Including, at 12:25, Newsbeat.
12:30 Mike Read's Christmas
Generally presented either by Read or DLT, the Christmas Party (normally pre-recorded in the middle of a sweltering August heatwave) was reputedly the one event in the Radio 1 calendar that all DJs, from the Gary Davieses to the Andy Kershaws, genuinely dreaded, the Christmas Party would allow listeners to eavesdrop on the station's staff as they ate mince pies, pulled crackers and generally tried not to sound uncomfortable in each other's company. The presentation of witty 'joke' gifts abounded, as did pointlessly disinterested interviews about how the various DJs planned to enjoy Christmas (John Peel once claimed that he was asked "you've got a family, how will you be spending Christmas?" ever single year), and staggeringly predictable choices of 'records of the year'. Most famously, it was after the recording of a Christmas Party that a crack fighting team consisting of Peel, Kid Jensen and Paul Burnett, loitered in the car park intending to 'get' Bates (who, amusingly, never turned up). 1985 has the broadest selection of Cream-era mainstays, so despite the rather ego-massaging nature of the billing it gets our vote.
14:00 Christmas Top Of The Pops (1990)
Back in the days before the advent of Nicam Stereo ("on my new Toshiba!") and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, if you wanted to experience the full stereophonic wonder of "Top Of The Pops" you had no option but to tune in to Radio 1's 'simulcasts' and place the speakers either side of your television set. Required listening for those who enjoyed participating in 'interactive' competitions involving listening out for Sydney Youngblood saying "I heard that!" in one speaker during a Jason Donovan performance. Back to 1990, to witness special guest Ric from Candy Flip dropping in to introduce Kylie Minogue, Beats International, Adamski, England New Order, Deee-Lite and, erm Steve Miller, Bobby Vinton and The Righteous Brothers.
15:30 Steve Wright's Christmas Special (1989)
The talkie bits, the posse ("waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy" *whistling*),the info, the gossip, Dr. Fish Fillieter and much more besides, laden with requests and dedications with a seasonal tinge. Heh... wacky.
18:00 The Chris Morris Christmas Show (1990)
Long before he started outraging tabloids, hoaxing celebrities, terrifying unwitting audiences and talking in a slowwwwwwed dowwwwwwwwwn voiiiiiiiiiiiiiice, Chris Morris was best known as a local radio DJ and in 1990 Radio 1 gave him a tryout slot with an aim to launching him as a regular in the New Year. The result, by way of a joke about a duet between The Pet Shop Boys and Myra Hindley, was instant dismissal. Join Chris for two hours of Feedback Reports, Sgt Murphy, Ways To Change The World and satantic backwards messages concealed in deceptively innocent pop songs, which only a handfulof his fans heard and none of them taped.
20:00 Only At Christmas (1987)
John Peel, as he was wont to do at this time of year, presents a guide to the best - and worst - Christmas records ever made with plenty of wry and dry anecdotage inbetween. Heavy on 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer'-style novelty numbers, and scratchy old recordings of grizzled bluesmen singing about how "Santa only brought me the blues".
22:30 Victor Lewis-Smith's
Christmas Message (1989)
Surprisingly, there was never a Christmas Special of "The Mary Whitehouse Experience", so instead we've got a superb slab of cutting- edge, near-the-knuckle comedy from their dreadlocked contemporary as Victor takes a few early swipes at owners of mobile phones, winds up an American department store, rubbishes LWT's Light Entertainment output and examines the North-South divide with the aid of a telephone. Considered so shocking at the time that it originally went out accompanied by a special phone number for irate listeners to call.
23:00pm to 01:30am The
Grotto Blaster (1989)
He may have slipped off the national radio radar since the ruthless Bannisterisation of Radio 1, but for many Christmas just wasn't Christmas without Adrian Juste playing a Ronnie Barker monologue over the top of the instrumental break in "Kids In America". What's more, his late night Christmas specials were invariably accompanied by a Radio Times gag about him being hilariously late for the morning show. Boom boom. As this is 1989, expect the odd freak appearance of 808 State and Happy Mondays amongst the general diet of Kaoma, Jive Bunny and Stock Aitken Waterman.
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