“That’s TV Gold”, a nostalgia channel that’s available on Freeview, Freesat and Sky, will be switching to its Christmas jumper this year, rebranding into a whole new channel – “That’s TV Xmas”.
Continuing its retro-focused programming, the channel will feature past classics such as The Benny Hill Show (returning to national TV after two decades), hidden camera show Beadle’s About, Christmas TV specials and more.
The channel will be available across the UK, on That’s TV Gold’s normal channels: Freeview channel 91, Freesat channel 178 and Sky channel 187.
That’s TV Gold launched on Freeview and Sky back in July, and was then added to Freesat in October. The channel normally features entertainment, music and films from the 60s to today, and includes documentaries on musical icons and film legends.
The rebranded seasonal channel, That’s TV Xmas, will launch tonight (Thursday) at 9pm, with a double billing of The Benny Hill Show.
Benny Hill was a prime-time feature of British TV for four decades, first on the BBC and then on ITV where his shows ran for a further 20 years, up until 1989.
The comedian won the first of multiple awards in 1954 when he was voted TV Personality of the Year. The Benny Hill Show received a total of 11 awards during his time with ITV and his shows were exported to over 140 countries.
Although Benny Hill is still loved by many modern comedians, his classic shows have not been licensed to any UK broadcaster for nearly 20 years.
That changes tonight with the launch of That’s TV Xmas, Benny Hill’s seasons and specials airing over a 7-week run.
Since some of Hill’s materials may be considered lewd by today’s standards, That’s TV will display on-screen messages that bring to the attention of viewers that some of the content featured in the shows reflects the standards of the time in which the shows were originally created.
What Can I Watch On That’s TV Christmas?
In addition to The Benny Hill show, some of the content on the XMAS channel includes:
- Beadle’s About – the sensational Saturday night hidden camera show which was a staple of ITV schedules from 1986 to 1996
- Mike Yarwood Christmas Specials – the impressionist and comedian was a staple of the Christmas TV schedules throughout the ’70s and ’80s. That’s TV Christmas has secured the rights to his special Christmas shows from 1982, 1984 and 1985
- Carry on Christmas – four saucy Christmas specials from the Carry On crew made in 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1973
- Kenny Everett’s New Year Specials– the madcap comedian’s New Year Specials from 1978, 1979 and 1980 with big-name guest stars including Rod Stewart, Cliff Richard, David Bowie, David Essex, Billy Connolly, Bob Geldof and The Sex Pistols. Plus, as an extra treat for Kenny fans, That’s TV Christmas will be showing special programming originally made for video release and never shown on TV starring friends including Cleo Rocos and the late Lionel Blair
- Tommy Cooper – a selection of specials from the one and only Tommy Cooper, master of mixed-up magic
Music, Arts and Documentaries
- Pavarotti: A Christmas Special – the famed tenor performs holiday classics in this program at Notre Dame Cathedral in Montréal, joined by a boys choir, Les Petits Chanteur du Mont-Royal, and an adult choir, Les Disciples de Massenet (1978)
- Irish Tenor Trio: A Classic Christmas Tale – an eclectic mixture of traditional Christmas carols and Irish melodies performed by the Irish Tenor Trio
- 100% Christmas Hits – chart-busting Christmas hits from the ’60s to today
- A season of documentaries on the iconic people and events of the last century including ’70s Punk in London, Princess Diana, John Lennon, King George VI, Margaret Thatcher, David Bowie and Michael Rockefeller
The Christmas channel will run until January 4, and then return to That’s TV Gold’s normal services with a brand-new schedule.