At home on Hogmanay. See below for your viewing guide. Plus television on television and

the best TV films over the Festive Season.

Hogmanay TV

Yes, hello, and welcome to the ceilidh if you’re not out on the tear. here’s what’s on the box.

From Peter Morrison to Julian Clary. Lulu to the (‘aledonian Strathspey and Reel Society. there’s an eclectic choice ofviewing this year for those relying on the TV for their Hogmanay entertainment.

In previous years those sad few too infirm or too unpopular to spend the night partying were punished for their social inadequacies by being subjected to across-the-board ersatz Scottish culture of the kilts and shortbread variety. The fact that these shows were networked caused untold damage to this country‘s chances of being taken seriously. and the annual return of the

fearsome Moira Anderson was the cause of much

dread and lamentation across the land. Fear not though, for 1990 has been designated Culture Year. at least in the west. and the TV

companies are offering us something rather more

palatable. ‘The Biggest Hogmanay Party In The World' is the modest title given to the BBC‘s offering. a live broadcast from the George Square festivities. Host Robbie Coltrane will be

introducing music of a contemporary nature from f

Ann Bryson and Gerard kelty sr as Fiona and Willie in a special 45 minute edition of City Lights, 10pm, 31 Dec.

the likes of Hue And Cry and the River Detectives. while Paul Coia escapes Lulu to mingle with revellers, which should make for some interesting moments ifthey‘re anything like the Hogmanay revellers I‘ve mingled with. Highlights of the programme include a fireworks display to usher in 1990, and a message from French Premier Jacques Chirac, officially handing over the European City OfCulture title.

STV pay their tribute to Glasgow with the stunningly-titled ‘New Year Show‘, in which Mark McManus (that‘s Taggart to you) guides us around the City OfCulture. Ifthe granite-faced one seems a somewhat strange choice for the role ofcultural emissary. there‘s always special guest Stanley Baxter and the ubiquitous ‘all-star line-up‘.

Stanley Baxter for the Nineties, Julian Clary, heads the lists at Channel Four with ‘Sticky New

Year‘ a special live edition of the innuendo-ridden quiz game. ‘We’re building a mock up Trafalgar Square with Julian’s Column instead of Nelson’s.’ promises producer Toni Yardley, ‘And something very special is going to happen at midnight.‘ Julian is allowed to penetrate into 1990 for about ten minutes before that festive favourite American Football takes over. Rock music from a dire decade fills the schedule on BBC2 in ‘Eighties’. a three hour review compiled from the BBC archives.

For the depraved few still craving fiddles the notorious duo of Andy Cameron and Bill McCue will be piling on the ‘tradition‘ in ‘Scottish Fling‘ on BBC] live from Glasgow’s City Chambers where the Caledonian Strathspey and Reel Society fiddlers will be providing the sounds for the beards and kilts, while the designer stubble and leather jacket mob are tuning up outside in George Square. STV’s equivalent ‘A Highland Hogmanay’ comes from Blair Castle where Peter

g Morrison hosts a private army ofCaledonian folk such as Robbie Shepherd, Mary Cameron,

' Highlander and the Pipes and Drums of the

Atholl Highlanders. No Moira Anderson this time but little Stuart Anderson should prove equally emetic and confirm that loose paraphrase ofTom Nairn that Scotland would not be free till the last fiddle string had been snapped with the last copy of ‘Donald Whirs Yir Troosirs ?‘.(Tom


Scottish Fling BBCI 10.45pm; The Biggest Hogmanay Party In the World BB C I 11.40pm; Eighties BBC2 10.15pm; The New Year Show STV 11.55pm; A Highland Hogmanay STV 12.30am; Sticky New Year Channel 4 11.20pm.


Aspel was as close as TV got to self analysis. Then Channel Four introduced Right To Reply and the evil invention of the Video Box, an irresistable honey pot for a swarm of publicity hungry pressure groups. Nowadays every time you flick the remote control you're liable to come across another show ‘examining the issues facing broadcasters in the Nineties'.

OK so some of it is justified, what

with the satellite stations and the imminent threat of all the independent TV franchises being snapped up by consortiums of wealthy football clubs and record company owners. What is worrying is that if this trend continues to the logical conclusion we face the prospect of a healthy chunk of TV programming concerning itself with otherTV programmes, ad infinitum. BBC's occasional Network programme, hosted by Anna Ford spilled the most blood of recent shows. Chief sacrificial offering was Sky executive Jonathan Miller (not the Jonathan Miller, but equally oily), who ran into a worthy opponent in Labour MP Frank Field. ‘Will you just shut up for a moment. I can see why Murdoch employs you: you’ve got a big mouth and never stop using it,’ was one of Mr Field's conversational gambits; eminently forgivable in the face of Mr Miller's casual contempt for all broadcasting pre-satellite dish. The Sky man's arrogant cool only dropped

than Sumo any day.

when someone had the presumption to make a personal attack on his boss.

Lots of antagonism and sweaty fat men defending their vested interests: better

Emma Freud on the Media Show

No such qualms are present when TV lets itself loose on its little brothers in printiournalism. Hard News (Channel Four) had the somehow appropriately-named Raymond Snoddy, floating on a minimalist white

(Wall To Wait for Channel Four) doesn't try to emulate Muriel Gray’s penchant for undirected snideness, and the programme benefits. Despite her previous habit of interviewing celebrities in bed, Ms Freud possesses a moderately authoritative air and doesn’t allow her personality to detract from the reporting. The Media Show tackles a diverse range of topics from high definition TV to advertising agencies competing for the Pinochet contract in Chile. Where it suffers is when discussing otherTV programmes. Punches are definitely pulled and critical faculties suspended. There still seems a vestige of not wanting to knock mates in the business, not wanting to foul their own nest.

background set, ripping into the Sun for publishing a story about homeless Del who could make £250 a day begging on London streets. Apparently a truer figure would be about £10 from begging with the balance coming from telling lies to the Sun. More disturbing was the film of a Welsh divorcee who had been assailed by the tabloid pack after her ex husband had been arrested for murder. A welcome insight into the real intrusiveness and insensitivity of a very dubious profession. Presenter Snoddy is delightfully horrible although he has some very easy targets. Perhaps the Media Show could draft him in to expose the crimes to humanity Esther Rantzen commits every week in Hearts Of Gold. (Torn Lappin)

58 The List 22 December 1989— 11 January 1990