There are treats in store, telly-wise, over Christmas and New Year. Happily, there is plenty of the familiar: Carols from King’s, of course (BBC2, Christmas Eve, 5.50 p.m.), as well as Midnight Mass – this year from Buckfast Abbey (BBC1, Christmas Eve, 11.45 p.m.).
What an eccentric and exhilarating treat to watch Secrets of British Animation (BBC4, 2 December). Ostensibly about the rich tradition of animated films in Britain since the turn of the twentieth century, it turned out to be a glorious celebration of ingenuity, resourcefulness and sheer bloody- minded patience.
I’ve been to rural northern Ireland a few times and reckon it must be one of the most beautiful places on Earth – well, certainly the bits of the Earth I’ve visited. Sea, rock, mountains, prickly yellow gorse and dry stone walls, all mossy stone, emerald green and azure blue.