Back to Christmas 1982 (30th December 1982)

It’s time to almost see out the old year with TOTP and a gaggle of R1 presenters (one of whom we’ll say no more about). Today’s show offers another look back at some of the hits of the year – beginning with ABC and The Look of Love (Martin Fry eschewing the gold lamé suit in favour of something more sober). Other highlights include the Fun Boy Three (R.I.P. Terry Hall) and Bananarama with T’ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It) and The Stranglers (Golden Brown).

We’re back in the period when an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special was a post-Xmas treat. That would all change next year, when Thicker Than Water would become the series’ first episode to debut on Christmas day (and two years later, the series would hit the big-time with the first of many feature length episodes – To Hull and Back). Back in 1982 though, things were more modest with just a half-hour slot available, although the episode (Diamonds are for Heather) is still a good one.

Ramping up the pathos (something which the series would also do in the future again and again) it’s a Christmas gift for David Jason, as Del’s relationship with single parent Heather (Rosalind Lloyd) and her young son Darren (Daniel Jones) deepens and he gets the chance to play both drama and comedy. It might get somewhat overlooked in favour of the later, longer specials – but if you’re able, then it’s worth digging this one out again for another watch.

‘Allo! ‘Allo! makes its debut immediately after Only Fools. The series proper wouldn’t begin until 1984 but all the building blocks of the show are already present and correct. Time for a complete rewatch? Maybe …

To round the evening off, I’ll take Force 10 From Navarone and A Voyage Round My Father on ITV.

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