Christmas TV Listings (2023)

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We’ve all got different ‘triggers’ for when ‘Christmas’ officially begins. For many, it’s probably when the Supermarkets start displaying their Christmas lines! But that’s obscenely early isn’t it? So how about…

…that first Christmas meal? (this year, I was up to FOUR, two weeks before the big day! 😋😃)

…or when the John Lewis Christmas TV Ad first appears? (a bit of a weird one this year!!!)

…or receiving your first Christmas Card? 🙄. A lot of our friends were very well-organised in 2023 and some were very quick off the mark – we received our first one in October!! (yes, October!!) I think that’s some kind of record!

Anyway, back to Christmas TV. The real big event for me (and it goes back years!) is when the Christmas double-issues of Radio Times and TV Times first go on sale. Normally that’s around the first or second week in December. For 2023, after missing the first day of publication last year, I put that right and headed for the local Tesco to battle the crowds on the very first day of availability. Yes, sad, I know! 😃

I think my (slightly obsessive) fascination with these two publications is a throwback to my childhood, when Dad used to bring them home after finishing work for Christmas. As a family, we loved Christmas, of course – but more especially Christmas TV (first, in black & white, then colour, on just three channels, then four, then five – then hundreds! — and by 2023, probably closer to thousands if you include all the streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Apple TV, Disney+, Lionsgate+ etc etc. Back then, there was no remote control, so Dad’s choice normally ‘won’, but that didn’t cause any issues, as TV was more family-friendly back then wasn’t it — The Generation Game at Christmas anyone??? 👍 To add to the fun in those days, there was also frequent positioning and re-positioning of the aerial to ensure the best possible pic! 👍

With these oversized publications taking pride of place in the lounge, our first job was to painstakingly search through the schedules, taking it in turns to circle our favourite programmes.

Fast-forward to 2023 and it’s much the same now — except we use a highlighter pen or just go online, or download the digital versions to our Tablets (a first for us, this year). What progress ehh!?

…then again… maybe not! ☹️


The Christmas Double Issues (2023)

The Radio Times: 292 pages/£5.50
(Six fewer pages and a price increase of 25p compared with 2022)

The TV Times: 196 pages/£4.99
(Two more pages and a price increase of 24p compared with 2022)

These days, both publications have a massive page count, mainly because they both list more-or-less the same information, Why’s that? Well, for my younger readers here, back in the ‘Stone Age’ (up until 1990) RT listed only the BBC stuff (including the radio) whilst TVT covered the commercial channels. These days, in the now ‘gazillion-channels/satellites/streaming TV era’, you have both publications running into hundreds of pages. 😊. Prices are slightly up on last year.

So, just like back-in-the-day all that’s left to do now is to plough through them both, highlighter pen (or two, or three) at the ready, and our Christmas TV preparations are sorted!

Ghosts of Christmas (Covers) Past – 2010-2023…

🎅 Merry Christmas everyone! 🎅


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