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The TATP Selection Box – Part 4

Our final merry skip through the snowflowers (NOTE: check if this is an actual thing before publishing) before we lunge menacingly towards some new material with the last editions of “Cult Bin Advent”, “Why Wont Yule” and “Christmas In The…” programmes. So drag out your chocolate trains, throw a Cheeky Girl on the fire and lets allow ourselves to feel ever so slightly Christmassy…

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“Hello! Richard Burton here…”

Here’s hoping you’ve all got your Twilight beds and “Cool It!” BluRays wrapped and under the tree. If not, why not do it now in the company of the latest – and indeed final – Cult Bin Advent with Ben Baker and Tim Worthington as they take a half hour sleigh ride through the subject of “Advent…erm…Stuff”.

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What exactly is “Advent Stuff”?

Well, its  anything and everything we couldn’t fit into the previous three shows, including two radio programmes, a book and two festively-filled TV listings magazines. In and among you’ll find out what was nearly called “Baddiel’s About”, what was the most horrific Radio Times cover ever, how a Scampi’s song sounds, what fantastic pop-culture books you might like to buy, which misguided 90s indie rocker needs a career revival, what the Blue Peter team were banned from doing with Magpie‘s Mick Robinson, how many jokes Tarby‘s got this Christmas and what true rock and roll is with a chap named Cameron Ingrams.

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Congratulations, you’ve got through the three weeks of slow build up and now we’re in Christmas proper and you know what that means…you can LEGALLY listen to Now The Christmas Album in full and the fuzz can’t touch you for it (even if half the people on it are presently under investigation by Operation Yewtree.) So join Ben Baker, Tim Worthington and Phil Catterall sharing two small headphones between them as they enjoy the likes of Slade in tinny barely audible quality. As well as that we’ll be taking on the big subjects, namely selection boxes, Christmas parties that seemingly only existed in 1970s sitcoms and our favourite (and most loathed) TV specials running the gamut from Community to that bloody “Miami Twice” episode of Only Fools And Horses.

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And finally, here’s Tim with his final festive mixtape taking in the last two decades: “Personally speaking, the nineties was something of a blur (and indeed a Blur) of indie music and non-daytime Radio 1 shows, and that’s pretty much what you’re getting here, with the odd more recent thing thrown in for good measure.  Kicking off with the intro speech from The Coen Brothers‘ best film The Hudsucker Proxy, we’re then into a bit of a Radio 1 medley, with an extract from Chris Morris‘ recently unearthed (thanks to a reader of my book about Radio 1 comedy, Fun At One) 1990 Christmas Day show, a Festive jingle from Easy Listening boom-inspired oddity Radio Tip Top, the intro from John Shuttleworth‘s Christmas Special, the Christmas 1994 station sting, and Lee & Herring‘s introduction from their Christmas show the following year. TedXmas

Then it’s Saint Etienne and Tim Burgess with I Was Born On Christmas Day, with a bit more Radio 1 over the top courtesy of Victor Lewis-Smith. Rotterdam Termination Source‘s sinus-hurting Yuletide salutation for ravers Merry X-Mess is next, with bits from Alan Parker Urban Warrior‘s Radio 1 Christmas Special, and the unmatchable Father Ted Christmas Special A Christmassy Ted in the house piano bits, and some more from Chris Morris, this time from his 1994 Christmas show.

Long-fringed long-sleeved indie sensations Ride unsubtly rework their earlier Like A Daydream as Like A Snowflake, with some more Radio 1 business from John Shuttleworth and Chris Morris, and Peter Cook being interviewed by Ludovic Kennedy for Twelve Days Of Christmas-themed absurdist chat series A Life In Pieces. Elastica‘s Ding Dong Merrily On High rewrite All For Gloria, from a Christmas Carol-based session for Radio 1′s short-lived ‘religion is hip!’ magazine show The Big Holy 1, is followed by the no less celebratory BBC1 Christmas trailer from 1993, in which such unlikely participants as Paul Daniels, Mr Blobby and the cast of Birds Of A Feather belt out a ludicrous doo-wop number about Christmas schedules.

John Shuttleworth‘s The Christmas Orphan is next, followed – via a bit of the Futurama cast facing up to the impossibly high ‘Naughty/Nice’ standards of Robot Santa – by Pet Shop Boys‘ All Over The World, which frankly should have been the Christmas number one a couple of years back instead of that Military Wives thing.

There’s a bit of the original Have I Got News For You Christmas Special from 1991 in the middle too. Hugh Laurie causes grumpy gift-giving mayhem in one of the Christmas episodes of House, followed by The Darkness‘ tremendous Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End), accompanied by a glimpse of Seinfeld‘s alternative religious festival ‘Festivus’.

It seems like a different lifetime ago, doesnt it? Literally in some cases.

Blur‘s little-heard take on a medieval carol The Wassailing Song is next, followed by Peter Serafinowicz‘ ‘Ringo Remembers’ sketch about ‘Dinners’ ruining Christmas with filth, and Spitting Image‘s The Christmas Singles, another Phil Pope-penned lament for the fact that people insist on playing Slade‘s festive opus as if it’s a perfectly listenable and perfectly harmless song that you hear once a year.

The Mike Flowers Pops‘ other Christmas single, Give Her One For Christmas, and Super Furry Animals‘ underperforming Yuletide offering The Gift That Keeps Giving, are brought together by a bit of The Santa Clause with – what else – Bernard being ‘wiseass’, and David Tennant making his Doctor Who debut in The Christmas Invasion.

Then there’s just time for one last bit of Radio 1 with Belle & Sebastian careering through The Twelve Days Of Christmas for the last ever Christmas Carol Concert at Peel Acres, Liz Lemon getting a bit bah humbug in one of the eight million Christmas episodes of 30 Rock, and the cast of Glee dreaming of a White Christmas. And on that note, Happy Christmas…!!’ thesantamantaub And if you like all this nonsense, consider giving us the greatest gift – no, not food and shelter for the entire world’s sick and poor – I had to take the last one back to Argos as it wasn’t in the colour I’d asked for – but a nice review and rating on iTunes *here* so other fellow festive types with excellent taste in podcast fun might find their way to TATP. We’ll be back with some of this very soon. A very merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us. Hope you get that Chocolate Train you asked Santa for…