Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

This relentlessly grim soap and the hordes of bargain hunters are not my idea of Christmas

As usual, I found the audience figures for Christmas day TV totally baffling.

Who are these 9.freaking4 million people who want to finish off their turkey and trifle with a dose of high-pitched screaming and relentless misery? Perhaps, I wondered, in a moment of revelry-stoked madness, EastEnders had opted for a different mood this year, and won its first place in the audience battle by climaxing its angry, misanthropic storylines with scenes of hugging and high-fiving set to the jubilant crescendos of Mozart and the fun-filled bumps and grinds of Gangnam Style. But headlines like 'Derek's death clinches it for EastEnders' suggested otherwise.

Perhaps the EastEnders millions are from the same strange breed of people who got up at 4am on Boxing Day to queue outside chain stores, then went running and screaming (they do actually scream, I saw it on the news) into the shops. I love a good shop as much as anyone and make a day of it as often as I can, usually stopping along the way for coffee and a little flick through the fashion mags to see if I've missed updates on the latest stays-in-place-beyond-death eyeliner. But what is the appeal of getting up just as Christmas Day is ringing out to stand in line alongside panting, hungry warriors who are steeling themselves to elbow you in the face for a 40% off jumper? I just don't get it - but I guess I'm out of touch because Derek's death doesn't do it for me either.

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