The Front


SANTA, aka Father Christmas or Mr Claus, reveals the good, the bad and the ugly festive flicks.

1 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) I get teary-eyed just thinking about this wee gem. James Stewart and Donna Reed. with an extraordinary script. make this the best.

2 Miracle On 34th Street (1947) If you’re still loyal to the spirit of Christmas, this comedy/fantasy starring Natalie Wood perfectly depicts what it's all about.

3 The Grinch (2000) Jim Carrey brought the maniacal. pot ugly Grinch to life as he re-invented the Christmas film genre. He's welcome in Lapland anytime.

4 The Snowman (1982) Raymond Briggs’ picture book is irresistibly brought to life in this wordless animated tale.

5 Santa Claus 2 (2002) Why oh why do they always have to put my name to such populist fodder?

RUDOLPH, the bitter red nosed reindeer, has a good bitch about all the crap songs that have prevented him from ever having a Christmas number one.

1 Benny Hill: ‘Ernie the Fastest Milkman in the West’ (1971) What has a milkman got to do with Christmas? Nothing. And who cares how bloody fast he is?

2 St Winifred’s School Choir: ‘There’s No One Quite Like Grandma’ (1980) OK, Christmas is all about the little brats. but that doesn't mean they should be allowed to release a single.

3 Mr Blobby: ‘Mr Blobby’ (1993) A fat pink blob covered in yellow spots. I know Santa's a fat bloke wearing red but at least he does something nice once a year.

4 Bob the Builder: ‘Can We Fix it?’ (2000) Can he fix it? Can he hell. He can get out of the flamin‘ charts and never release another single ever again.

5 Cliff Richard Don't get me snaned...


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The success of The Lord of the Rings has led many to believe that its very name has magical properties. All over Hollywood, writers are working on movie titles that will turn their leaden ideas into box-office gold. Here’s a selection of the treatments they are pitching.

Treatment Being a dwarf has its drawbacks. Being small is one of them. But one visionary dwarf has a revolutionary idea: a ladder that will alloy-i him to scale new heights. Little does he know that an officious Middle Earth health and safety officer is on his case.

Title The Law of the Rungs.

Treatment The elf world has never got over the demise of the Police. the purveyors of late-70s new wave pop with a reggae inflection. So three young elves invest in blond wigs. teach themselves the chords to ‘Roxanne' and form a tribute band.

Title More of the Stings.

Treatment Frodo Baggins faces his greatest temptation yet. Having been lured into a land of nameless eVil creatures. he is abOLit to escape when he is seduced by a da77ling. shape—shifting prostitute. What fate lies in store?

Title The l’l/hore of the Things.

Treatment Due to a glitch in the space-time continuum. Frodo. Merry. Sam and Pippin find themselves in Dundee. Tripping over a bucket. they take a wrong turning and stumble across Oor Wullie and the Broons. Help ma boab and crivens. it's . . . Title The Lord of the Jings.

Treatment The telecOinmunications revolution has taken over Middle Earth. Everywhere is the sOund of mobile phones chirping out the tunes from favourite wvard soap operas. But for one hobbit. it's all getting too much . . .

Title Bored with the Rings.

Treatment A documentary from the makers of More of the Stings. The elf world spent the 19(30s battling with the ork world and so completely missed out on Beatlemania. In a misguided effort to catch up in the 70s. they went mad for Paul McCartney's new band. Every gig Paul and Linda played ll‘ Middle Earth broke new decibel records. Title The Rear of the l'./i/rgs.