Review: These two Christmas shopping shows were schedule fillers, not secret spillers

It’s Chriiistmaaas, or nearly Noddy, anyway, and in these strange times we have decisions to make about whether we travel to see relatives, how to buy gifts in lockdown and how we can avoid making Jeff Bezos even wealthier.

Friday, 27th November 2020, 5:00 pm

So Tonight: Secrets of Your Online Shopping (ITV, Thurs, 7.30pm) and Secrets of Your Christmas Supermarket Food (Ch5, Thurs, 8pm) appeared on my EPG, I could scarcely contain my excitement.

Would I find out how to bag a genuine Black Friday bargain? Would I learn how I could get all the elements of the festive dinner ready at the same time? Would I find out why my parcels always seem to end up next door?

No. No, I wouldn’t.

Sian Williams promised to reveal the secrets of our Christmas food. Picture: Emporium Productions

Because these shows, promising to lift the lid on all manner of Christmas mysteries, were the worst type of televisual clickbait.

Channel 5 had somehow managed to film their supermarket food show with the trees in full leaf and the rule of six apparently a mere fancy in Chris Whitty’s head. An unappetising mix of Inside the Factory, That’s Life and Eat Well for Less, it’s only saving grace was that Gregg Wallace hadn’t been allowed anywhere near it.

Tonight, meanwhile, had absolutely nothing new to say about the rise of the internet behemoths, although it was interesting to see how lockdown had impacted independent retailers and how they were fighting back.

Otherwise, it was a mere buffer zone between episodes of Emmerdale.

We’re going to have to start some new Christmas traditions this year, in the absence of Uncle Bob being slightly racist after his third G&T of the morning, and so are the schedulers.

Because if these two shows are anything to go by, it’ll be very thin gruel indeed.

After the anger of Small Axe’s first film, the second movie, Lover’s Rock (BBC1, Sun, 9pm) was a change of pace. A joyous look at the music and house parties of early 80s London, it’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

This year’s Great British Bake-Off (Channel 4, Tues, 8pm) has not captured my attention, with Lottie and Hermine not making the final, but the last five minutes left me smiling and weeping at the same time.