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By Mike "Scrooge" Cotgreave

This year's festive viewing largely resembled a bag of hot shite swaddled in tinsel.

The few exceptions included Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message - Channel 4's annual big opportunity to prove its radical, edgy credentials. And they excelled themselves by inviting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver last year's message.

Naturally, everyone who constantly whinges that TV is riddled with political correctness suddenly did a U-turn as one of their main targets did something so politically incorrect it bordered on the obscene. The line the anti-PC brigade, led by the Daily Mail, now took was "we believe in free speech, except for psychopathic dictators who want to destroy Israel". These people need to break out of their neo-Cold War mentalities and get a firm grasp of reality.

Any opportunity to get inside the head of a mouthpiece of militant Islam (and that's all he is, because the real power in Iran lies with the clerics and the military) should be welcomed. By allowing him to speak, Channel 4 has also demonstrated the moral capacity of civilised people, compared to Mr Ahmadinejad whose country hangs homosexuals in the street and has supported suicide bombings as a legitimate expression of Jihadism.

The second highlight of the Xmas TV scheduling was The Royle Family Christmas Special. After two very funny series, The Royle Family started to lose the plot a bit, turning from a realist satire on working class family life into a lacklustre sitcom that resorted to making a joke of child neglect. This year's Xmas special had its ludicrous moments (like Dave sitting in the bath with a defrosting turkey) but contained some good laughs (like Jim comparing wife Barbara to a Tesco bag-for-life).

Oh yeah, and Blackadder Rides Again was good. Everything else was cack. Happy new year…





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