RE­BEKAH DEVLIN OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

FEEL­ING a lit­tle over­whelmed by the ap­proach of De­cem­ber 25? This is the an­ti­dote to all that fes­tive cheer, a bunch of Pom­mie celebs talk­ing about how much they hate Christ­mas.

‘‘ You can’t put Christ­mas in a sack and drown it — it just goes on and on and on,’’ TV pre­sen­ter Penny Smith says.

There’s some­thing strangely en­dear­ing about a grump, espe- cially a funny grump. To be so hos­tile to­wards such a cher­ished hol­i­day re­quires a lav­ish help­ing of self-be­lief/self­ish­ness.

‘‘ What up­sets me is I want to be jolly but I don’t feel I can be be­cause I’m be­ing told I have to be, and then that up­sets all the jolli­ness,’’ co­me­dian Mark Steel says.

‘‘ Christ­mas, once you get past a cer­tain age, is just a re­minder you’re get­ting closer to death,’’ me­dia man Terry Chris­tian says. The grumps cover ev­ery as­pect of the sea­son that in­duces hos­til­ity — send­ing Christ­mas cards, su­per­mar­ket crushes, the group text, peo­ple who send pics of their pets in Santa hats and those Christ­mas songs they play over and over in stores, par­tic­u­larly Cliff Richard’s Mistle­toe and Wine.

‘‘ I should be able to sue some­body, there should be some­body, some­where that I should be able to de­liver a writ to, to ei­ther get the money or the time back,’’ TV’s Andi Oliver says of Sir Cliff.

Yep, there’s a fair bit of ha­tred go­ing and it’s pretty funny. But af­ter a while, it just starts to sound like whinge­ing, and who re­ally wants to sit around hav­ing a bunch of peo­ple com­plain to you? It’s Christ­mas af­ter all.

They com­plain the Christ­mas sea­son goes on too long. You’d think they might have fol­lowed their own ad­vice.

At the 20-minute mark, this was head­ing for four-and-ahalf stars. By the 40-minute mark, you ac­tu­ally want to beat them with your bare hands, or hurl a plum pud­ding at their heads. The Grumpy Guide To Christ­mas ABC1, 10.10pm

Closer to death: Terry Chris­tian.

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