10 Classic Christmas Episodes From Your Favourite British SitComs - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

Home Top Ad

Post Top Ad

10 Classic Christmas Episodes From Your Favourite British SitComs

Christmas in Britain is unique, often characterized by cold winds, mistletoe, the Queen’s speech, and of course, those TV shows we wait all year to see. Nestling amongst the must-watch specials are sitcoms, many of which have produced episodes that are as much a part of our festive tradition as mince pies and brandy butter.

Only Fools and Horses - "Time on Our Hands"
The Trotters have given us several Christmases to remember, but "Time on Our Hands" from December 29, 1996, is the pièce de résistance. This episode sees Del and Rodney finally become millionaires. The scene in the lift? Poignant perfection. The Mirror once raved, "Only Fools delivers Christmas gold – emotional and comedic."

The Vicar of Dibley - "The Christmas Lunch Incident"
On Christmas Day 1996, Geraldine Granger faced three Christmas lunches to avoid offending her parishioners. Dawn French's impeccable comedic timing was the heart of this festive romp. Behind the scenes, French reportedly ate multiple Brussels sprouts, showing her commitment to the craft. The Telegraph's review said, "The Vicar of Dibley merges faith, festivity, and hilarity seamlessly."

Blackadder's Christmas Carol
A 1988 twist on Dickens, this sees a good-natured Blackadder become wicked after spirit visits. Rowan Atkinson's genius performance was supported by stellar British actors like Miriam Margolyes and Stephen Fry. Fry once said in an interview with BBC, "Reimagining Dickens through Blackadder's lens was a comedic masterstroke."

Father Ted - "A Christmassy Ted"
Broadcasted on December 24, 1996, it featured Ted and a group of priests hilariously lost in Ireland’s biggest lingerie section. This comedy laced with irony and quirky characters made it a classic. The Independent exclaimed, "Father Ted's Christmas escapades remind us of the comedy inherent in the mundane."

Absolutely Fabulous - "Cold Turkey"
Patsy and Edina returned on December 24, 2003, for a fabulously chaotic Christmas. While the world celebrated, Edina fretted over her minimalist Christmas tree and potential weight gain. Behind-the-scenes, Joanna Lumley, who played Patsy, recalled "embracing the madness and extravagance" of the season. Metro reviewed it as, "Absolutely Fabulous at Christmas is absolutely hilarious."

Steptoe and Son - "A Perfect Christmas" (1974)
Harold wants to go on a Christmas holiday to Majorca, but Albert has other plans. The sun-soaked dream of Harold versus the cunning tactics of Albert made this episode iconic. Broadcast December 26th, as per The Vintage News, the raw dynamics between the duo made it "an unforgettable Christmas tale."

The Royle Family - "Christmas Special 1999"
Watching the Royles watching TV is a meta experience. Broadcasted on December 25, 1999, this episode's slice-of-life depiction of a working-class family at Christmas resonated with many. Caroline Aherne's brilliance was in turning the ordinary into comedic gold. The Times remarked, "The Royle Family’s Christmas captures British households to a tee."

Peep Show - "Seasonal Beatings"
On December 24, 2010, Mark and Jeremy's dysfunctional Christmas with Mark’s family was a cringe-fest. From the burnt turkey to awkward confrontations, it was a classic Peep Show disaster. Channel 4, during an interview with David Mitchell, learned he believed this episode was “painfully hilarious, a mirror to many real-life disasters."

Porridge - "No Way Out"
On December 24, 1975, Fletcher and Godber found themselves trying to escape prison on Christmas Eve. The wit interlaced with the bleakness of prison life made this a stand-out. Ronnie Barker's performance was exceptional. The Daily Express noted, "Porridge serves the reality of prison with a side of top-tier British humour."

Keeping Up Appearances - "1991 Christmas Special"
Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) was back on December 25, 1991, trying to ensure her neighbours knew she was out on a luxury yacht for Christmas. Patricia Routledge's performance was, as always, spot-on. Off-camera, Clive Swift (Richard) often marveled at Routledge's ability to be “both regal and riotous”. The Sun's review read, "Hyacinth at Christmas is Britain's jewel in the comedic crown."

British sitcoms, with their quirks and quintessential humour, often capture the very essence of a British Christmas. These episodes, laden with laughter, familiar characters, and often a dash of that festive magic, make them timeless. In this season of nostalgia and merriment, they're a reminder of simpler times, of Christmas past, and of the universal language of laughter.

View all our Christmas articles and retrospectives here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad