Saturday, 8 January 2011

Poll Result: What was the best TV treat for Christmas 2010?

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Last Monday I asked you to vote for the three best TV specials that were shown over the Christmas/New Year period on British TV. I chose a selection of the big "events" from the festive TV listings magazines (although I forgot to include Misfits -- sorry!), and you've been voting away in your thousands all week. Well, your hundreds. Okay, nearly a hundred.

Whatever the number, I can now reveal the results, in ascending order of popularity, with bite-sized reviews of the Top 5:

#11 The Accidental Farmer, Benidorm - 0%
#10 Rock & Chips, Three Men Go To Scotland, Toast - 0.9%
#9 Strictly Come Dancing, When Harvey Met Bob - 1.8%
#8 Just William, Misfits - 2.7%
#7 The Nativity, The Royle Family, Whistle & I'll Come To You - 4.5%
#6 The One Ronnie - 5.5%

#5 Eric & Ernie - 7.3%

This was a marvelous dramatization of esteemed double-act Morecambe & Wise, written by Peter Bowker (Blackpool), featuring excellent performances from Daniel Rigby and Bryan Dick as Eric Bartholomew (née Morecambe) and Ernie Wise, two child performers who came to work together and, eventually, become Britain's most beloved comedians. As the title implied, Eric & Ernie focused on the pair's early days, ceasing at the moment they found a deepseated confidence, shortly after a notorious flop with TV comedy Running Wild. This was a brilliant treat for fans of the real-life duo, told with heart, style and subtlety. There was fine support from Victoria Wood and Jim Moir (aka Vice Reeves) as Eric's supportive parents, too, and I thought the leads evoked Morecambe & Wise's accents, mannerisms and chemistry amazingly well. In fact, I could watch a sequel, if one's viable. You voted Eric & Ernie in at #5. That's great, but I think it deserved a higher placing.

#4 Top Gear: Three Wise Men - 8.2%

I'm beginning to think Top Gear's central joke is running on fumes. Well, at least in terms of these occasional specials, which have become horribly formulaic. In Three Wise Men, petrolheads Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were air-dropped into Iraq and told to drive across deserts to Bethlehem, ostensibly following in the footsteps of the Biblical three kings journeying to see the baby Jesus. Hilarity supposedly ensued; in the form of staged "problems", rehearsed repartee, minor hiccups, engine breakdowns, pre-arranged stunts, jocular racism, eye-rolling silliness, and a tedious number of border crossings. The final gag worked nicely -- that the Messiah in his manger was the Second Coming of The Stig -- but that was about it. Still, plenty of you disagree with me – as this was voted the fourth best thing on over Christmas. Really?

#3 Upstairs, Downstairs - 9.1%

I didn't see it, so I can't comment directly. I hear it was a sillier version of ITV's Downton Abbey (which itself owed a debt to the original Upstairs, Downstairs), but by the end it had won a lot of people round. Is that what you thought? A lot of people seemed to enjoy it, voting it to #3 in this poll.

#2 Charlie Brooker's 2010 Wipe - 13.7%

This I did see! Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe has fallen by the wayside in recent times, as he's become so popular he has too many other TV projects to mastermind and bile to spew for The Guardian. But he managed to give us a retrospective of 2010, casting his withering eye over the year's big events. If you're a fan, you'll have lapped this sardonic special up and been left salivating for more. It was indeed very funny at times. It was just a shame he can't mock Konnie Huq's woeful presenting on Xtra Factor this year -- y'know, being married to her now, an 'all. But while I liked this hour of pisstaking, I am somewhat surprised it's been voted to #2!

#1 Doctor Who - 30.2%

Oh, how predictable. But yes, even if I didn't fall hook, line and sinker for the Doctor Who Christmas special this year, it was undoubtedly the most Christmassy treat and the thing most people were looking forward to seeing. The vast majority of you included it in your triptych of votes, making it a landslide #1.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in this poll. Another one is sure to follow soon.