|"We're getting divorced"|
"No, *we're* getting divorced"
Christmas and ABBA – what a lovely combination!
I’ve trawled through this year’s Christmas and New Year Radio Times so you don’t have to, picking out all of the films, TV and radio programmes featuring everybody’s favourite Swedish foursome.
ABBA-inspired films Mamma Mia and Muriel's Wedding are being shown alongside a healthy portion of interesting documentaries.
As Christmas is the time for repeats, the Radio 2 documentary about the 40th anniversary of ABBA's Eurovision win is wheeled out for a whopping two hours on Monday 22 December.
If you're looking for a night in watching pure ABBA, then New Year's Eve is your best bet, with the excellent Joy of ABBA starting at 9pm, followed by ABBA at the BBC, finishing at 11pm. You've then got an hour to toast the New Year before settling down for The ABBA Years on Channel 5.
Saturday 20 December
Musical romantic comedy featuring the music of ABBA.
(repeated Wednesday 24 December 14.10-16.25)
Monday 22 December
20.00-22.00, BBC Radio 2
Scott Mills celebrates the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s rise following their 6 April 1974 Eurovision win with Waterloo, which just five weeks later was at the top of the UK charts. With input by Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad and others.
ABBA: The Image
23.55-00.55, Channel 5
Examining the group’s costumes, album artwork and videos.
Thursday 25 December
Top of the Pops Christmas: 1978
22.30-23.30, BBC Four
Noel Edmonds presents the music show, featuring Darts, ABBA, Boney M, Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army, Squeeze, Buggles, Ian Dury, Blondie and Racey.
23.05-01.15, Channel 5
Comedy drama. Deciding to escape her dysfunctional family and her small-town life, Muriel Heslop takes advantage of a blank cheque and heads off in search of adventure.
Friday 26 December
ABBA: Live in Concert
01.15-02.25, Channel 5
A 1979 performance by the Swedish quartet.
Saturday 27 December
Pick of the Pops
13.00-16.00, BBC Radio 2
An extended show in which Tony Blackburn counts three year-end charts, with the bestselling singles of 1965, 1976 and 1987, featuring The Hollies, Sonny and Cher, The Wurzels, ABBA and the Pet Shop Boys.
ABBA: When Four Became One
20.00-21.00, Sky Arts 1
Documentary examining the music careers of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad before they joined ABBA.
(repeated Sunday 28 December 05.00-06.00 & Monday 29 December 11.00-12.00)
Sunday 28 December
ABBA: Dancing Queen
20.00-21.00, Sky Arts 1
The recording of the Swedish band’s classic 1976 single.
(repeated Monday 29 December 05.00-06.00 & Tuesday 30 December 11.00-12.00)
Agnetha: ABBA and After
Agnetha Faltskog’s music career as both a member of the Swedish group and a solo singer.
Wednesday 31 January
The Joy of ABBA
21.00-22.00, BBC Four
A nostaligic look at how the the pop legends popularised the sound of Swedish melancholy in the 1970s and early 80s. By adding irresistibly catchy melodies, the glamtastic quartet were able to dominate the world’s charts.
ABBA at the BBC
22.00-23.00, BBC Four
A collection of memorable performances by the melodious chart-toppers, including their first Top of the Pops appearance in 1974, and archive chat with the band.
Thursday 1 January
The ABBA Years
00.00-01.00, Channel 5
The story of the Swedish supergroup, featuring interviews with the four band members.
(The text is the Radio Times’, by the way)
And of course, the best way to sign off a festive ABBA post is this…