Culture Vulture Xmas Special

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Rodin in his time Sky Arts 6 am

A documentary that looks at the life of Rodin through his writings and correspondences set against the political-cultural and artistic backdrop of 19th-century Europe.

Great Expectations (2012) BBC2 11:45 pm

Orphan Pip rises through high Society with the assistance of a mysterious benefactor. Pip tries everything to win the heart of the rich cold-blooded Estella in this classic Dickens tale. Stars Helena v Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.

Thursday 23 December 2021

The Polar Express Sky Showcase 6 pm

A great animated movie. See our review here

Lucy Worsley’s Christmas Carol Odyssey BBC4 1130 pm

Lucy reveals the surprising stories behind our favourite Christmas carols.

Rumpelstilzche Sky Arts 11:45 pm

A miller boasts to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold, and the monarch tells her life is forfeit on the third time she fails. She despairs until a strange man appears, offering to spin straw into gold in exchange for a gift. A production of the fairy tale by dance company Ballet Boyz, with Jane Horrocks in the title role, alongside Tanya Reynolds and John Marquez. Stage adaptation of the German fairy tale written by Willhelm Grimm.

Friday 24 December 2021 (Christmas Eve)

Spitting Image: Christmas Special ITV 10 pm

A special Xmas episode of the puppet-based satirical sketch show. Elton John meets Brad Pitt, Nicola Sturgeon shares a Glasgow kiss under the mistletoe, Phoebe Waller-Bridge pens the Queen’s Speech and Tom Cruise saves Christmas.

American Oz

Like my fascination with Alice, I’ve always been fascinated by Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. This documentary explores in two parts the life of L. Frank Baum the writer of the American classic ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. And yes you read it right the book has ‘Wonderful’ but not the classic 1939 film. I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle his political views, which were decidedly mixed! I also want to see what the documentary says about the supposed hidden meanings in the Oz stories. Baum was often asked whether his stories had hidden meanings, but he always replied only that they were written to “please children”.

Saturday 25 December 2021 (Christmas Day)

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga Cheek to Cheek Sky Arts 9 pm


Cover art from the album Cheek to Cheek. The cover art can be obtained from Interscope Records.

A television performance at the Rose Theatre supporting their collaborative studio album Cheek to Cheek. Cheek to Cheek consists of jazz standards by popular composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and Irving Berlin. It was inspired by Bennett and Gaga’s desire to introduce the songs to a younger generation since they believed these tracks have a universal appeal. I’m pleased that Gaga and Chrissie Hynde have, separately, recorded Jazz standards for a new generation to appreciate and enjoy.

Sunday 26 December 2021 (Boxing Day)

A Very British Scandal BBC1 9 pm

Who doesn’t like a great scandal? This three-parter tells the story of Margaret Sweeny who meets the dashing (and married) Ian Campbell, future Duke of Argyl.

Selected by Pat Harrington

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