Back to Christmas 1985

I’ve always had respect for those who restrict their archive television viewing to just the programmes which aired in a particular era. My jackdaw meanderings are much more random as I like to dash around the decades in no particular order, dipping into shows that take my fancy before moving on somewhere else.

But I thought it might be interesting to attempt something a little more structured for a short while, so from the 21st of December through to the 3rd of January I’ll be only watching shows which aired on those days over the 1985/86 Christmas period.

There’s an obvious nostalgic rush about perusing the Radio Times and TV Times and planning what will make the grade (these days, it’s not done with paper and a marker – I just skim through the PVR and click on whatever takes my fancy. It’s quicker and more efficient of course, but not as fun).

Each day I’ll pop up a quick blog post about what I’ve chosen and what I’ve decided to record on my virtual VCR to enjoy on another day.

So that leaves me a week to start my planning ….

8 thoughts on “Back to Christmas 1985

  1. I love your choice of covers, the RT from 1985 and the TVTimes of 1986, both showing TV’s most popular wheeler-dealers of the period, Del Boy Trotter and Arthur Daley and their long-suffering assistants.

    Buster makes a great Santa.


    • It’s the Christmas TV Times from 1985. The programmes end on January 3rd 1986.

      The best period for Radio Times Christmas covers was 1975 to 1984, and then in 1985 they went back to photographs of tv stars.

      A year later Radio Times did EastEnders on the Chjristmas cover and it was their most distasteful cover design ever.


  2. In 1985 Christmas Day was a Wednesday, so the Radio Times covered the period from 21st of December to 3rd of January.

    The earliest period that the Christmas Radio & TV Times covers is from 17th to 30th December when Christmas Day is a Sunday (but you can’t plan your Christmas viewing properly until you know what’s on New Yeear’s Day & New Year bank holiday), and the latest period is 23rd of December to 5th of January when Christmas Day is a Monday.

    It was not always thus. In 1972 and 1995 Christmas was on a Monday and Radio Times covered the period from 16th to 29th of December, which rather defeats the object of having a Christmas/New Year double issue.

    In 1976 Radio Times did a fifteen day guide for 18th of December to 1st of January, and then did a New Year edition for 1st to 7th of January, so they did two listings for New Year’s Day. TV Times did an issue for 18th to 24th of December, and a fifteen day guide for 24th of December to 7th of January (the day after the decorations come down), so they did two listings for Christmas Eve.

    In 1982 both magazines did an issue for week ending 24th of December and a fifteen day Christmas issue for 24th of December to 7th of January. 1976 was the only year the double issues were out of sync.

    1977 was the only year that Radio and TV Times covered the period from 24th of December to 6th of January. Sometimes when Christmas Day was at the weekend the Christmas tv listings magazines gave brief details of programmes for New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day.

    If Christmas Day is a Monday or it’s a leap year and Christmas Day is a Tuesday there is one more issue of Radio Times during the year than usual.


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