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Dec 11

FT Advent Calendar Of Christmas TV Specials: December 3rd

FT1 comment • 822 views

Christmas is a time for the children, which means it’s also a time for endless kids’ TV specials. More than ever, in the age of the “DVD movie” stocking-stuffer. But this special has a little more to offer than just beloved “character brands” going through the tinselly motions. For a start – the SECRET ORIGIN OF ELTON JOHN!

Yes, it’s the Bob The Builder: A Christmas To Remember special, first broadcast in 2001 – NOT to be confused with the Bob The Builder: Snowed Under Christmas Special. In the latter the “machine team” learn a lesson about teamwork and friendship. In this they learn a lesson about GLAM ROCK.

The main plot of this special involves Bob’s twin brother Tom – never mentioned before or since, like all twin brothers in TV specials – who is a zoologist in the Arctic and wants to come and see Bob for Christmas. Will he make it home? The answer of course is YES, though – spoiler alert – only with the help of Chris Evans’ private jet, a curious choice of transport for a man devoting his life to saving the poley bears.

It’s not actually Chris Evans, of course, it’s Chris Evans playing a rock star called Lenny Lazenby, of “Lenny And The Lazers”. And here is the special’s OTHER plot, which is to do with this band playing a concert in Bobsville, but Lenny has laryngitis – OH NO! Who will step in. Perhaps the piano player “John”, who with a pair of starry specs and songwriting help from Roley the steamroller can achieve his destiny and become…

Ahem. Also worth watching out for if yr a fan of 70s rock: a scene-stealing turn from Noddy Holder as a roadie called BANGER. The best Bob The Builder episode? Very likely. It stands up to repeated viewings, and as the parent of two small boys God knows it’s had to.

Comments

  1. 1
    Erithian on 4 Dec 2011 #

    Great family viewing, this, with plenty of amusing references for parents, especially if they go as far back as the 70s! (OK, it’ll be for grandparents soon.) And particularly for a parent of twins, it’s unexpectedly moving, with the cinefilm flashback to Bob and Tom as five-year-olds on Christmas morning – Tom has an animal toy he adores but breaks it, and Bob fixes it with his new toolkit, and thus are both their careers born. Wonderful Christmassy nostalgia right there – just wish our twins ever got on that well!

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