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Carry On Christmas

First shown on Christmas Eve in 1969, this show was third in Five's line up of vintage festive repeats on 26/12/2002. Alas it's the one that had dated least well. Thames made four such Christmas specials from 1969 to 1973, while ATV made thirteen half-hours in 1975; not one of them featured Kenneth Williams! This particular programme has a good, strong opening which kicks along nicely, but it soon descends into a tiresome series of spoof Victoriana sketches, linked by Sid James as Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol'. Talbot Rothwell wrote this, so I'm surprised it isn't funnier. I think the problem lies in the overlit studio environment plus the as-live vision mixing of multiple cameras. These factors highlight the somewhat ramshackle direction given to these brilliant, tired, over-worked, under-rehearsed character actors.