New performances, surprising reunions, candid interviews and the stars of Christmas past and present feature in Rewind the Christmas Hits as it unwraps a musical genre as unpredictable as the British weather. From the battle between Brummie glam rockers Slade and Wizzard for the 1973 Christmas number one to the secret alchemy involved in choosing the song for the latest John Lewis advert, this 90-minute festive special uncovers the real stories behind the UK’s favourite Christmas hits.
Revealing more about the state of the nation than the Queen’s speech, a Christmas hit can – if the artist gets it right – be the gift that keeps on giving, earning them legendary status and a pension for life. But if they get it wrong, they could end up joining a long list of Christmas chart casualties.
From The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York to Boney M’s calypso disco hit Mary’s Boy Child, and from novelty hits such as Mr Blobby’s imaginatively titled track Mr Blobby to ad-driven cover versions, what does Britain’s annual festive musical identity crisis tell us about who we are?
Rewind the Christmas Hits features a host of celebrity crackers: Slade and The Darkness perform together and explain why glam rock offers the perfect form of escapism in troubled times; Tony Mortimer reveals the family tragedy behind East 17’s enduring love song Stay Another Day; divine disco diva Reverend Richard Coles reflects on the sadder side of Santa; and St Winifred’s School Choir investigate why grandmas were 1980’s flavour of the merry month.
Also featuring contributions from Mel C, Midge Ure, Status Quo, Heaven 17, Jona Lewie, Joe McElderry and Sandie Shaw.
UK / Channel 4 – Fresh One / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 20 December 2014 @ 8.00pm
Executive Producer: Jeremy Lee / Director: Nico Wasserman