Friday’s best TV: The Last Leg Christmas Special; Have I Got 2017 News for You; Al Murray’s Make Christmas Great Again

  • The Guardian - TV News
A festive farewell from Adam Hills and the boys; Jo Brand presides over likely gags about Brexit and Trump; and the thundering landlord gets a helping hand from Richard E Grant’s sad-sack Santa

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, Slade, Wham!, Mariah Carey … the artists in this Christmas special are unlikely to surprise you. But, really, that’s the charm of the thing: it’s reliable, nostalgia-heavy and comes with those all-important chart facts from Mark Radcliffe. Less predictably, there’s also Skepta, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran, whose ubiquity is sure to bring out the Scrooge in some, while others rock around the Christmas tree to his ballads. Hannah J Davies

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Rae Earl interview: My Mad Fat Diary, teen mental health & social media

Louisa Mellor Mar 3, 2017

To mark the publication of her new book, #Help: My Cat’s A Vlogging Superstar!, we chatted to the brilliant Rae Earl

In the course of my conversation with Rae Earl about her new children’s book, the following topics came under discussion: Kirsty MacColl, the Playmobil Funko Willy Wonka figure, running marathons, Krysten Ritter’s fringe on Gilmore Girls, David Tennant on stage (“the only time Hamlet’s ever made any sense to me!), the layout of Stamford Morrisons' car park, the sound design on Jackie, McDonalds coke, the sanctuary of public toilets, Piers Morgan, Rory Gilmore’s paramours (“I’m a Jess fanatic and I won’t have any nonsense about Dean or Logan”), Anne Widdecombe, level crossings, Nazis and vomit.

See related Broadchurch series 3 episode 1 review Broadchurch series 3: air date confirmed Doctor Who: Steven Moffat quits, Chris Chibnall new showrunner Chris Chibnall interview: Broadchurch,
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Top 5 TV: Have Yourself a Murray Little Xmas

Top 5 TV: Have Yourself a Murray Little Xmas
Parades and pigskin aside, there wasn't much happening on television during the week of Thanksgiving. But for the past seven days? The box has been overstuffed. While various series are racing toward their seasonal end games, the networks have begun trotting out some early holiday diversions, hoping to capitalize on the viewers who are already eager to surround themselves with mistletoe and holly. There were even a few premieres last week, including a sneak preview of NBC's new sitcom Superstore, the return of Bravo's Top Chef, and a single-episode sneak-peek
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The Pogues- Glasgow O2 Academy (17/12/13) Live Review

Christmas is filled with traditions, from roasted turkeys and overfeeding, to rubbish television and a collective of hideous jumpers being worn by the masses. A slightly alternative tradition to these, yet one that is just as, if not more important is The Pogues’ annual set of festive gigs. For years now The Pogues have performed in major cities throughout the UK to sold out crowds in the weeks up to Christmas. The reason for specifically choosing these dates could be for many reasons, such as trying to create a sense of unity among the crowd as they approach the season of goodwill, to help people through the cold nights… or perhaps and this seems likely, because Fairytale Of New York has made Shane MacGowan (Lead Singer) and the rest of the band a ridiculous sum of money.

For those somehow unfamiliar with the band, The Pogues are an Irish punk
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Lorraine Kelly, Aled Jones sing 'Fairytale of New York' - video

Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly have performed a Christmas duet together.

The Daybreak presenters sung The Pogues' classic 'Fairytale of New York'.

The pair listened back to the video for the first time on the show today (December 5), having recorded it earlier in the week.

"You said come down, we'll do this for a right laugh, it'll be really funny," Kelly said.

"I've always wanted the chance to sing with Aled - I obviously can't hold a note - you never said it was going to go on the interweb and then on the telly!"

'Fairytale of New York' was first released in 1987 and featured guest vocals from Kirsty MacColl. It reached number two in the UK chart and topped the Irish chart.

It charted again on its re-release in 1991, and has been in the UK top 20 every year from 2005 to 2012.

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Basically, Johnny Moped: the perfect tribute to punk rock's idiot savants

Fred Burns's frank, unflinching documentary is the real – and sometimes surreal – deal, writes Adrian Deevoy

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"Listen, Johnny Moped were better than the Clash and the Pistols put together," a young Shane MacGowan assured me 30 years ago. I can't remember if he was drinking, but he had a point.

Johnny Moped, punk rock's idiot savants, embodied the daft Diy essence of the times better than any other group. Not for them the artful defiance of Vivienne Westwood's costly clobber or the political posturing of Juanabe conquistadors – the Mopeds came from Croydon and made music for drunk people. Press play on your download of Basically, Johnny Moped and there's Shane in 1977, all self-conscious sneer and spit-spattered shirt up front at the Roxy, pogoing in approximate time to the Mopeds' ramshackle constructions: Incendiary Device, Groovy Ruby, Vd Boiler and Darling Let's Have Another Baby.
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'Our Nixon' Review: Forty Years Later, An Intimate Portrait of Nixon, and Ourselves (Trailer)

'Our Nixon' Review: Forty Years Later, An Intimate Portrait of Nixon, and Ourselves (Trailer)
Songwriter Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know (About Us)" makes a fitting title track for "Our Nixon." The found-footage documentary, woven from 500 hours of Super 8 shot by Watergate convicts H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin, isn't just a portrait of the Nixon's peculiar boys club. It's a time capsule from a bygone age. And, really, who would have thought the president's chief of staff, domestic affairs advisor, and special assistant spent the early 1970s making home movies along with national policy, carrying cameras as well as clipboards? (Imagine Reggie Love and Rahm Emanuel uploading playful YouTube videos from the campaign trail.) Witnessed from our own era -- an era of armed drones, hacker collectives, and Prism, of staying "on message" and avoiding "gaffes" -- this unorthodox raw material, collected by the FBI in the course of the Watergate investigation, seems almost quaint in its earnestness. "I was just waiting,
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The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York' surpasses 1 million sales mark

Classic track 'Fairytale Of New York' has sold over 1 million copies. The song, performed by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl and originally released in 1987, reached the landmark this December and has become the 126th song to achieve the feat. The single peaked at number two in the UK single charts when it first came out. It has managed to enter the top 40 every Christmas since 2005 due to online downloads. Martin Talbot, MD for the Official Charts Company, said: "It is apt that in the year of its 25th anniversary, 'Fairytale Of New York' has entered into the pantheon of the UK's all time favourite (more)
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Ultravox's 'Vienna' crowned best 'number two' single

London, Jan 2: British rock band Ultravox's 1981 hit 'Vienna' has been named as UK's favourite number two single.

The track topped the survey by BBC Radio 2 and the Official Charts Company to find the greatest song, which missed out on the number one spot.

Vienna was held off the top spot in 1981 by novelty track 'Shaddup You Face' by Joe Dolce, the BBC reported.

Christmas favourite 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl came in at second place.

The 1987 hit was beaten to the top by the Pet Shop Boys' cover of Elvis Presley hit 'Always On My Mind.'

Other songs to feature in the top 10 include.
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Pogues beat Mariah Carey, Band Aid to be most-played Christmas song

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's 'Fairytale of New York' has been named as the UK's mostplayed Christmas song over the past year. Prs for Music has published the new list, which sees the 1987 festive favourite top the list of most popular tracks from December 2011 to December 2012. Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas is You' comes in second place, followed by Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' at three. Wham!'s 'Last Christmas' comes in at four, while classics by John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, Wizzard and Slade also feature in the top ten. Bing Crosby's seminal 'White Christmas' only lands at 23, while Sir Cliff Richard's 'Mistletoe and Wine' makes 37. The top 20 in full: 1. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl - 'Fairytale of New York'

2. (more)
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Kirsty MacColl tribute concert for album release in 2013

Kirsty MacColl's tribute concert is to receive an album release for the first time next year. A Concert For Kirsty MacColl will be released as a live LP on February 18, 2013. The gig was recorded live at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on October 12, 2010 in tribute to the late singer, who died in December 2000. Ellie Goulding, Amy Macdonald and Alison Moyet were among the stars who performed covers of some of MacColl's most popular songs. Catherine Tate also performed her own version of MacColl's song 'In These Shoes?', while Phill Jupitus hosted the event. A 'greatest hits' compilation entitled A New England - The Very Best Of Kirsty MacColl will also be released on February 25, 2013. The tracklisting is as follows: (more)
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Q&A: Tamsin Greig

'If I could bring something extinct back to life, what would I choose? The steaks I tried to cook on Sunday'

Tamsin Greig was born in Kent in 1966. She studied drama at Birmingham University, and in 1991 was cast as Debbie Aldridge in The Archers. Her television work includes the comedy series Black Books, Green Wing and Episodes. At the RSC, she played Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and won Olivier and Critics' Circle awards. From 16 August, she will reprise her critically acclaimed role in Jumpy at the Duke of York's Theatre, London. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

When were you happiest?

On my wedding day.

What is your greatest fear?

Not having enough money put aside to pay the tax bill.

What is your earliest memory?

Being left in the big hall at primary school on my first day.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
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Michael McIntyre banned from using Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'

Michael McIntyre banned from using Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'
Michael McIntyre has revealed that he has been banned from future use of 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. The comedian explained that he had received a phone call from the band's management asking him to avoid using their tracks. McIntyre included a segment in his Christmas Comedy Roadshow where he tried to sing along with the festive track, but struggled to understand what frontman Shane MacGowan was singing. Speaking at a warm-up gig at London's Soho Theatre, he said: "Last year I was here trying out material (more)
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You scumbags, you maggots… leave that sacred Pogues song alone | Stewart Lee

Santa's on coke, Sherlock's sexed-up and Helena Bonham Carter is newly honoured, but some seasonal institutions should remain beyond parody

When Colombian drugs lords invented Father Christmas as a marketing tool for cocaine, back in the 1980s, they could never have imagined that this red-faced, overweight man, whipping his staff while shooting through flurries of "snow", would one day become beloved by infants worldwide. And when, 4,000 winter solstices ago, the Beaker Folk cast toy clay pots to symbolise the passing year's disappointments, and tossed them into the past from a tiny spring-loaded mammoth, they could not have dreamed that, many millenniums later, we would enact their yearly rite as the Christmas game Buckaroo.

Today, even religious folk accept that the date of Christ's birth was fudged to appropriate pagan celebrations, but all of us were shocked when the BBC slowed the Earth's passage around the sun this year so that
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Kirsty MacColl son: 'I feel lucky to have Fairytale Of New York'

Kirsty MacColl's son has said that he "feels lucky" to still hear the late singer's voice on 'Fairytale Of New York'. MacColl died in a boating accident while on holiday in Mexico with her children Louis and Jamie in December 2000. 25-year-old Louis, who continues to live in their family home, said he was grateful that the star continues to be honoured at the festive period through her appearance on the Pogues classic. "[She was] funny, kind and she didn't take any bulls**t," he told The Mail on Sunday. "She stood up for what she believed in, whether for herself or others who'd been treated unfairly. She'd always try to right wrongs. Mum taught me that life's never that bad if you can do the things you love. "It's so nice, I feel lucky to be able to hear her voice on the radio every year. I love (more)
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'Educating Essex' teachers swap gifts in Channel 4 Christmas message

Educating Essex headmaster Vic Goddard and his deputy Stephen Drew have delivered one of Channel 4's pair of alternative Christmas messages. The broadcast featured candid footage of Drew singing along to 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl at his desk, and Goddard talking one-on-one with a pupil in the schoolyard. Drew said: "Education generally is about not giving up on people. I think you'll see schools all across the country who don't give up on people." Goddard described the stereotyping of young people as "sickening", particularly following the summer's riots. He also said he appreciates that some young people will (more)
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Top 10: Christmas Number 2′s

Ever since the music charts started 50 years ago, musicians have been consistently blighted by the nation’s inexplicable penchant for “novelty” tracks such as Bob the Builder and Mr Blobby, or for the past several years, the X Factor beating them to one of the most coveted accolades of the year – the Chistmas Number One. To document the greatest songs which never quite made it, we’ve compiled this Top 10 highlighting the most memorable Christmas Number 2’s.

Songs include lounge singer Mike Flowers’ spoof cover of Wonderwall by Oasis, beaten by Michael Jackson’s saccharine Earth Song (1995), Bachman Turner Overdrive’s rock classic You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet which fell at the last hurdle to Mud’s Lonely This Christmas in (1974) and Take That’s Patience, robbed of its glory by Leona Lewis’s A Moment Like This (2006). There are also a few surprises in the form of pop classic Last Christmas by Wham!
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TV highlights: 21/12/2011

Top Of The Pops 2: Christmas Special | Rick Stein's Spanish Christmas | Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder | Great Movie Mistakes: Not In 3D | The Art Of The Night | The Cafe

Top Of The Pops 2: Christmas Special

7.30pm, BBC2

Are you, in the words of Sir Noddy of Holder, hanging up a stocking on your wall? Well, it's about to be stuffed full of TOTP2 treats, old and new. Mark Radcliffe introduces vintage baubles from Shakin' Stevens and The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl. Also from the archive comes "lost" footage of David Bowie performing Jean Genie in 1973. The young 'uns are represented by Adele and a tribute to Amy Winehouse. And if the sentimental Christmas songs don't make you shed a port-fuelled tear, that should do the job nicely. Hannah Verdier

Rick Stein's Spanish Christmas

9pm, BBC2

Though it doesn't quite say so, this is the Christmas show for foodies
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Sutherland On For Fairytale Of New York

No, this is not going to be an attempt to make a film out of the classic Shane McGowan/Kirsty MacColl tune Fairytale of New York, at least not completely. But new indie romantic comedy Fairytale of New York is looking to hook up a troubled Irish type with a woman, and has snagged Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Bosworth to be the odd couple.We’re not sure we see the combo of Sutherland and Bosworth, but writer Jeff Murphy and director Lee Cleary obviously do. Cleary is gearing the movie up now, for a shoot that will take in Northern Ireland and New York.Sutherland’s playing a cynical yet charming Irish stand-up who travels to the Big Apple and makes a connection with an intriguing American woman (Bosworth). Cue, we assume, Sutherland spending the next few months with a dialect coach.“Fairytale of New York lets us observe
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Shaun Ryder calls off 'Fairytale' cover

Shaun Ryder has said that the moment has passed for he and Stacey Solomon to record a cover of 'Fairytale of New York'. The I'm A Celebrity co-stars were rumoured to be releasing a reworked version of The Pogues' 1987 hit, which featured Kirsty MacColl. However, Ryder told Digital Spy: "You wouldn't touch a song like that usually, you just wouldn't touch it. It's a classic tune, right? But because it was Stacey [and] me and we'd just come out of the jungle... "On the spur of the moment when you got asked you say 'Yeah', (more)
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