Alternate Christmas Message

You UK Dopers are no doubt very familiar with this. But, as a colonial living in the States, I’ve just stumbled across this, and am amazed and appalled.

In response to the Queen’s annual Christmas message, broadcast over the telly, Channel Four has apparently been running an “Alternate CXhristmas Message” (the same way the US Political Party out of power gets to broadcast a rebuttal to the State of the Union message over here). It apparently started in 1993 when Quentin Crisp gave the first one. There seems to be some reason to believe that he did it as an alternative “Queen’s” message (nudge nudge). They kept it up, with messages from a strange gallery of speakers – Jesse Jackson, Brigitte Bardot, Ali G,… I’d dearly love to see the 2004 one from Marge Simpson:

I’ve looked at YouTuibe and other sites, but can’t find it on the internet.

The 2008 one was by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (!!!):

Anyone know more about these? Are they available for viewing on the Net or on DVDs? Any comments from UK Dopers:?

I’m guessing that you’re appalled particularly because of last years? Otherwise, I don’t get it. Do you think we shouldn’t hear what people like Ahmadinejad have to say?

It’s a very Channel 4 thing to do, in my opinion. Although they’ve moved away somewhat from their original remit, the channel does exist to provide an alternative to mainstream terrestrial programming, something they’ve done with varying degrees of success over recent years. The alternative broadcast is just one more thing that they do which is different to the staid consensus that characterises the rest of the mainstream media, I guess (that sounds a little more critical than I meant). The queen has had her own slot since time immemorial, it’s nice to have a tradtional alternative.

I’ve watched most of them, they’re occasionally worth a few minutes of my time but usually not as interesting as they might have been. The guests are sometimes horrendously gimmicky (the wife swap couple in 2003 according to Wikipedia, Ali G) and sometimes more thought-provoking (the Lawrences, for example).

I get your comaprison, btw, but it’s not really the same as the rebuttal to the State of the Union. The C4 message isn’t in answer to the queen particularly, as far as I know. It’s just something that is put on at the same time as she gets her bit, and has become a tradition in its own right. AFAIK the details of Brenda’s* speech don’t get officially released in advance, although the theme does seem to be these days, so it would be difficult to rebut it.

Don’t know about availability on line, I’m afraid.

  • obligatory Private Eye reference

I absolutely do think that people should hear what he has to say. Putting it on as an Alternate Christmas Message just seems like rubbing salt into a wound, though.

Yeah, I guess… I suppose I thought of it as an ‘opportunity for someone other than the queen to talk directly to people’ which happens to take place on 25th December, more than a specifically Christmassy thing.