Slade: Still crazee after all these years

Hoarder Next Door Christmas special
Hoarder Next Door Christmas special

Allan Crow on the pre-Christmas highlights on the telly - a Slade retrospective and people slightly obsessed with Christmas

(Friday, BBC4, from 9.00 p.m.)

IF Slade had only ever released ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ they’d still be revered as a great band.

But beneath the faintly ridiculous 1970s glam rock outfits and shoes so high they defied gravity beat the heart of a stonkingly braw band.

Noddy Holder remains instantly recognisable to this day thanks to his thick West Midlands accent and those chops - seldom has rock ‘n’ roll witnessed such magnificent sideburns.

Slade were also Dave, Jim and Don and, in the 1970s, their thumping solid tunes with the badly spelled song titles endeared them to a generation of kids and annoy teachers everywhere. No bad thing ...

They then re-invented themselves on the back of the fabled ‘New Wave Of British Heavy Metal’ circa 1980 and did it all again with the storming ‘‘We’ll Bring The House Down’’ so this week’s retrospective is long overdue.

It kicks-off with ‘It’s Slade’ a documentary first shown in 1999, and then BBBC4 does what it does best and rummages in the archive attic for clips of the band appearing on everything from TOTP to Crackerjack!

And just when you long to take off your platforms and put down that mirrored top hat, they treat us to Slade In Flame, the 1974 movie in which the band play fictionalised versions of themselves in a band called Flame.

Enjoy the nostalgia, marvel at the quite bonkers outfits which married no-nonsense cloth cap northern clothes with 70s glam - particularly those sported by Dave Hill - but above all, enjoy the music. Sorry, the musik ...

Text For Santa

(Friday, stv, 8.00 p.m.)

ITV’s answer to Children In need is back for a second year to raise money for six deserving causes.

It does what it says on the tin - send a text, donate the cash and enjoy the show which features celebs such as Ant and Dec, Philip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and a host of special guests over the course of three long hours.

The King Of Christmas Lights

(Friday, Channel4, 8.00 p.m.)

Bet there’s one in your street - the house festooned with Christmas lights.

Out there are a breed of folk who take Christmas tat to whole new levels by illuminating every piece of their home.

Whether they do it for fun or to get one up on the neighbours, who knows, but in some cases they spend around £5000 just to make their wee hoose sparkle so much Santa can probably see it from the North Pole. This documentary looks at why they do it, the hours (nay, months) they spend planning their festive designs, and the cost and impact it can have on their lives.

It’s the neighbours I feel sorry for ...

Just stick up a tree, wrap it in some tinsel and draw the curtains. The Hoarder Next Door: Christmas Special

(Friday, Channel4, 9.00 p.m.)
C4’s obsession with people who can’t bear to throw anything out and live in squalor - rubbish piled roof high, room by room - now extends to a Christmas special, Among those featured is a woman whose obsession with Christmas means that her vast collection of decorations is bringing down a bedroom ceiling, and the house is so choc-full of clutter she can’t have the family round.