Enough to make one grumpy

How can it be possible it's come around again? That most tiresome, most imbecilic, lame, and brainless seasonal event that somehow one just can't escape.

December after December, year after year, every time you turn on the television, there it is.

A bunch of middle-aged men and women banging on about why they don't like Christmas, in programmes such as Grumpy Guide to Christmas.

The latest to pollute our televisions was screened on Prime at 7.30pm on Sunday and it wasn't even new. It first screened on BBC2 in 2009, for God's sake.

And who did they have this time?

Ozzy Osbourne, who makes a living doing awful reality television shows, or boring us senseless on Parkinson or whatever with his wife Sharon.

Like the rest of his chums on Grumpy Guide to Christmas, Ozzy delivered his ever-so-droll, cynical views on the Christmas period.

"When I was a practising alcoholic, it was the best time of the year, but when you don't drink, it's just another day," Ozzy said.

Oh, hilarious.

"The worst thing is the expectation you are meant to be jolly. What is jolly, anyway?" someone asked.

There were a lot of someones on a Grumpy Guide to Christmas.

There was Mark Steel, the British socialist comedian and regular appearer on shows such as Grumpy Guide to Christmas.

There was Neil Morrisey, who was Tony in Men Behaving Badly.

There was Andi Oliver, who was in the band Rip, Rig and Panic, which appeared on The Young Ones, and who is now a television host and broadcaster.

Together with a bunch of other semi-notables, they took a disgruntled look at the season, grizzling about parties, pantomimes, forced jollity and Sir Cliff Richard.

There is a sort of "Grumpy" franchise, going back to 2003, when Grumpy Old Men first hit our screens with a four-episode series.

The format for these irritating shows is a series of snippets of interviews with well-known middle-aged men, who bang on about issues of modern life that irritate them.

Subjects ranged from excessive road signs to inappropriate mobile phone usage.

Hardly original, but if you can earn a buck late in your pathetic career, why not?

Regular contributors included everyone from Jeremy Clarkson to Bob Geldof, Rick Wakeman and Tim Rice.

The franchise developed to include Grumpy Old Women, then Grumpy specials.

Grumpy Guide to Christmas bored me silly, as the likes of Penny Smith, a British television presenter and newsreader you have never heard of, warbled: "I hate it, I hate it; I can't say how much I hate it."

I hated it. I can't say how much I hated it.

It made me that grumpy.


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