It has become as much a Hogmanay fixture as first-footing and cleaning the house, but it seems that viewers’ patience with BBC Scotland’s offering on New Year’s Eve may finally be wearing thin.
TV watchers took to social media to take aim at the Jackie Bird fronted programme, with particular disappointment at the ‘tired’ and ‘cringy’ football sketch show Only an Excuse and the bizarre booking of Alesha Dixon as the main musical guest, with the former Mis-Teeq singer better known these days as a television personality.
There were mixed reviews for mockumentary ‘Gary Goes to Hollywood’, a look at Scottish expats in Los Angeles hosted by Greg McHugh in character as his ‘Gary: Tank Commander’ creation.
And Jonathan Watson’s annual impression show Only an Excuse was once again eviscerated online, with viewers unhappy with the ‘same-old’ characters and urging the BBC to look elsewhere for festive laughs.
One tweeter wrote: “If you even watched Only An Excuse tonight you’ve done Hogmanay completely wrong and need to get in the bin.”
Another added: “#OnlyAnExcuse is quite possibly the poorest excuse for a comedy show on the box. Put it to rest (should have been done yrs ago) and allow the next generation of Scotch & Wry / Chewin the fat creative talent a chance to shine.”
And the @Celtsarehere blog joked: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Only an Excuse for preventing Celtic from being the worst performance in Scottish Football to end the year.
“Some effort that.”
Gary Feeney wrote: “Scotland’s packed to the brim with all sorts of talented musicians, singers, comedians and what not, yet every year we’re still subjected to Only An Excuse, they two fiddle-players, Jackie Bird and Lulu (who presented STV’s effort). Pathetic.”
Dave Steel posted: “BBC Scotland with their finger on the pulse. If Alesha Dixon singing “Scandalous” doesn’t automatically scream HOGMANAY then I don’t know what does.”
There was also more than a little confusion about the bells themselves, with a pre-recorded countdown to the traditional Edinburgh fireworks, which were soundtracked by a far from traditional dance music tune.
Some online compared the instrumental piece to ‘Ceefax’ music or hold music from a call centre.