CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: A plastic Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer for £995! This is Liberty!

Liberty at Christmas


Are You a Lie to Me? At Christmas


It is time to burn the original inventor of the scented candle. This smoky and smutty smelly stuff needs to be banned.

Whatever nonsense is printed on the jar — black cherry, chocolate layer cake — they smell only of cheap, molten wax. They can cause fire and leave behind a blackened glass vessel that cannot be recycled.

There will also be one in each gran’s Christmas stocking. The cost of the item is outrageous. Liberty at Christmas (C4) saw the luxury department store in London’s West End promoting their ‘oud wood scented candles with a hint of damask rose’ at £48 each.

Madeleine, marketing chief, stated that it was an “amazing offer”. “We don’t want it be something that everyone can afford.” Everybody can enjoy a bit of Liberty within their homes.

In 2020, during the pre-Christmas lockdown, Liberty in London was deemed 'non-essential' and forced to close its doors

2020: Liberty, London, was forced to close after being deemed “non-essential” during the lockdown before Christmas.

Fairness to Madeleine: The candles fall at the lower end of the range. If you’ve got more leeway, why not treat Auntie Flo to a pair of silk pyjamas, a mere £450.

Some Liberty customers — Adele and Beyoncé were mentioned — buy a pair for every day of the week. Or, if you haven’t finished your decorations, take home a plastic reindeer with plush fur at £995.

An assistant warned that they needed to be stroked. “You have to take care of them.”

If you’re wondering, a plastic Liberty Rudolph is about twice the price of a real one — there’s a place in Manchester that will let you hire a reindeer at £450 for four hours. This is enough time for the children not to have fun with it.

Perhaps this is the reason Liberty was forced to shut its doors in 2020 during the preChristmas lockdown.

The night’s most delicious offer: 

“I was wondering if you would like to take a look at the building with me?” In The Girl Before (BBC1), Creepy Ed (David Oyelowo), asked Jane (Gugu Mbatha–Raw). This must be the modern way of inviting a girl up to see your etchings. 

The staff worked tirelessly to bring in customers, despite shoppers leaving London this year. It is amazing to see the dedication and hard work of window dressers. They worked tirelessly five nights a week to create the displays from paper.

It was complete when the 35,000 envelopes that were included in it had to all be individually glued closed.

This sounds like an improbable story. Are You a Lie to Me? (BBC1) — back with a Christmas special crammed with more glorious anecdotes and whoppers than ever.

One of them had a holiday flavour and was about an old, jolly man who emerged from a snowstorm to give Ardal O’Hanlon his walnut before disappearing into the snow.

Ardal, much loved as dim priest Dougal in Father Ted as well as DI Jack Mooney on Death In Paradise, is a natural raconteur — as we’ve seen before on Alan Davies’s talk show, As Yet Untitled.

Would you believe me if I told you that? This format is hilarious, and it highlights the lack of good chat programs on television. Ardal could have shined in conversation with Parky, Michael Aspel or other top-notch guests. It would be a full house of distinguished guests.

Rob Brydon was stunned at his chance to get Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, and Angela Rippon as dancing newsreader. Angela proved that she still can throw high like a Can-Can girl.

It’s worth checking out the video just for Lee Mack’s speedy ad libs. They are too fast for him to control, I think.

He’s no doubt in serious trouble for making jokes before he can control himself.

Lee retorted to Jim when he said he had walked the Pyrenees. Boom-boom!