Funny to discover forty five years later I wasn’t alone in thinking the Beatles’ Christmas film of 1967 was something wonderful. I was fourteen at the time, living in chilly Bridlington. Watched the distinctly messy piece of engaging nonsense alongside tut-tutting parents.
They read the Daily Express at the time and it slated the thing as ‘tasteless nonsense’. Already beginning to think writing might be the only thing I could do in life I penned an alternative review and sent it off to the paper. They didn’t use it of course but I got a charming and encouraging letter from someone in features who read it (I wonder if that would happen today).
And here in today’s Guardian is Anthony Wall, editor of Arena, who was also in his teens back then, watching it with his family.
I am that textbook 16-year-old who sat there in the front room, with the indoor aerial in one hand, thinking I was watching something completely wondrous,” he says. “I can remember looking back at my mother and the neighbours, who were saying, ‘Absolutely shocking – outrageous.’
Me too. I’ll be watching this trip back to my youth. I don’t think it was great television. But it was adventurous, brave and different. TV needs that more than ever today.