The only episode of 'Love Thy Neighbour' to be broadcast on Christmas Day ( not counting 'All Star Comedy Carnival' sketches ), this was written by Sid Colin. A darts tournament is imminent, and Eddie is 'Captain' of the Jubilee Social Club team, mainly because there is no-one to oppose him. Bill decides to do so, but then the two men get sidetracked into a drinking contest, which Eddie wins. Paralytic, he staggers home to Maple Terrace, and collapses on the sofa. He experiences a dream in which he, Bill, Barbie, Joan, Jacko, Nobby and Arthur are all shipwrecked on a tropical island, with Bill in command and dressed as an African witch-doctor. Eddie is known as 'the great white hunter'. Unable to find any food for the others, they decide to cook and eat him...
I missed this when it first went out ( it clashed with B.B.C.-1's 'The Morecambe & Wise Show', guest-starring Diana Rigg and Des O'Connor ) on I.T.V., sandwiched between 'Get Some In!' and the film 'The Taming Of The Shrew'. The script is a bit messy, initially giving the impression it is going to be about the darts tournament, but then getting sidetracked first by the drinking contest and then Eddie's dream. Nice to see Kate Williams and Nina Baden-Semper in skimpy clothing though. We don't see the darts tournament, alas, but there is a touching last scene as Eddie hands the winning trophy to his neighbour and seems totally sincere for once. The cast then face the audience, and wish them a Merry Christmas.
Funniest moment - Joan has been putting up decorations, and left a stepladder in the living room. A sozzled Eddie climbs the ladder, thinking he is going upstairs to bed!
Second funniest moment - Eddie being roasted on a spit!
The B.B.C. are allegedly furious at what they perceive to be a 'snubbing' of hit shows such as 'Sherlock' and 'Call The Midwife' by B.A.F.T.A. 'Elitist and out of touch' is how they put it. But B.A.F.T.A. has bent over backwards in the past few years to appear the opposite - it gave an award last year to 'The Only Way Is Essex' ( of all things ). Surely awards should be handed out on merit, not on the basis of viewing figures ( it would be akin to 'Crossroads' beating out 'Upstairs, Downstairs' to be 'Best Drama' of 1972 ). There is not much point in tuning in to an awards show if you can guess beforehand who is going to win. The rant from the nameless B.B.C. 'insider' sounds to me like sour grapes. How relieved am I that Matt 'Big Neck' Smith hasn't got a nomination for his dire 'Dr.Who' impression ( I wouldn't call it a performance ) this year. David Tennant, his predecessor, is currently to be seen in Virgin ads and these are serving as a reminder of just how great he was in the role. If only it were possible to bring him back.
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