VERITY LUSH: This is my idea of Christmas telly torture

This week, as tradition dictates, I bought the Christmas edition of the Radio Times.

Friday, 15th December 2017, 8:00 pm
Bill Nighy and the cast of Ordeal by Innocence

I sat down, with both aplomb and my highlighter, ready to circle whatever fabulous festive TV would be on offer over the holiday period. I stared, aghast.

For what is there on TV this Christmas? Not much, that’s what.

The BBC has pulled the Agatha Christie I was looking forward to (who doesn’t look forward to Bill Nighy?), based on recent allegations made against Ed Westwick, who also starred.

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This makes little sense given that they were willing to give airtime to Johnny Depp on Graham Norton, and there’s video evidence of his having abused his last wife, whereas Westwick’s alleged misconduct is just that – alleged. Sure,

pull it off the TV, but have the same standards for one and all.

Aside from that, there is very little that appeals, but the Beeb does win, hands down.

For Christmas Eve, ITV has dragged a gaggle of ‘stars’ together and got them to sing musical favourites. What? Who wants to watch this claptrap on any night of the year, let alone Christmas Eve? The very concept of being forced to watch Nicky Campbell do a little turn on the telly, or indeed Sally Phillips or Rebecca Front (I’ve actually no idea who they are), is more akin to what you’d expect if you were captured by MI5 and tortured until you spilt the beans on national secrets.

In essence, have you yet to experience the disappointment that the TV listings have to offer? It is a season of repeats and the same movies that are shown year in, year out. If ITV show part of the Harry Potter franchise one more time this year, they will no longer even need listings. Viewers can just take a random stab at which of the Potter sequels is due an airing on the seemingly incessant Potter loop.

TV is not what Christmas is about but it’s a jolly sizeable part of being indoors over the festive period and snuggled on the sofa at night. As is, it would appear, Lord Voldemort.


There was an image posted on Twitter last week of Taylor Swift, underneath which some deluded fan had suggested people try to think of a ‘badder (unmentionable-in-The News word) than Taylor Swift’. [For those over a certain age, the word ‘bad’ in modern parlance, means ‘good’].

Ok, here goes: Emmeline Pankhurst, Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Jo Cox, Florence Nightingale, Cleopatra, Anne Frank, Jessica Ennis, Nicola Hughes, Fiona Bone, Katie Piper and so on... and so on.

In fact, you could fill a book. In fact, someone already did.

If you’re looking for a book for little girls this Christmas, then Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is excellent, full of inspirational and aspirational women – way beyond the likes of Cinderella and light years head of Taylor ‘I can sing about men but that’s about it’ Swift.


One final week of term left before Christmas can begin for my children.

Portsmouth has had a super long half-term this year in the festive build-up, and you can see it in the kids.

The dark mornings and the dark evenings are making mine hibernate at the moment, and the stack of Christmas DVDs has emerged with watching starting in earnest.

However, despite the late break-up at least Portsmouth kids, unlike those who fall under Hampshire, will have the majority of their holiday off afterwards to play with anything Santa has been kind enough to bring. And to fight with their siblings. And to drive their parents to the sherry. And to trash the house in post-festive, sugar-rush-cum-crashing carnage.