Hogmanay TV preview: Carr to drive Channel 4’s New Year’s Eve

Raucous: Alan Carr's show is likely to be chaotic and full of hilarity
Raucous: Alan Carr's show is likely to be chaotic and full of hilarity
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Picture this: it’s New Year’s Eve, so you resolve to have a big night on the town. You spend ages getting ready, but it will all be worth it.

The pubs are packed, and the drinks are terribly overpriced. You can’t hear to talk to your friends, and you spend the latter half of the evening getting turned away from too-busy clubs.

Call us a bunch of cynics if you must, but wouldn’t you have a far more enjoyable night welcoming in the New Year in style, with Alan Carr and his array of celebrity guests? After all, the bespectacled comedian has lined up quite the night – so break out the chips and dip, grab a cold one from the fridge and prepare to make the most of the last night of the year – all from the comfort of your own sofa.

Joining the host for his Specstacular are TV presenters Jonathan Ross and Melanie Sykes, stand-up comedians Jack Whitehall and Jimmy Carr, fashion guru Gok Wan, Paralympic sprint champion Jonnie Peacock and American pop star Bruno Mars.

Last year’s Specstacular proved to be chaotic, bizarre, at times bordering on shambolic – and always immensely entertaining. It helped – or hindered – that Carr plied his guests with drinks throughout, and the sight of a tipsy Heston Blumenthal cooking up some of his weirdest creations for a group of bemused (and also largely tipsy) celebs was a particular highlight. Both Ross and Wan were involved in that programme too, so we can expect a similar level of raucous hilarity this time around.

As well as the guests mentioned above, we’re promised a parade of other famous faces will also be involved, popping up in various guises to take part in VT sketches, entertaining games and musical performances.

This may only be Alan’s second stint helming the Hogmanay show, but already we can imagine this becoming a firm fixture on the channel for years to come.

WILD AT HEART

STV, 6pm

IF you’re missing him and the beautiful scenery of Africa already, your thirst is about to be quenched, as Stephen Tompkinson narrates this documentary which goes behind the scenes of Wild at Heart, one of ITV’s most successful long-running dramas.

The programme meets the animals and their handlers and gives an insider’s view as to how the show was made.

TOP OF THE POPS NEW YEAR’S EVE 2012

BBC One, 7pm

FEARNE Cotton and Reggie Yates review the year in pop, while we wonder how 366 days seems to have slipped away so fast. There’s a chance to see Rizzle Kicks perform their hit from earlier in the year, Mama Do the Hump, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, the Script, Stooshe, Tulisa, Calvin Harris, Tinie Tempah, the Maccabees and Arlissa.

A FUNNY OLD YEAR

STV, 9pm

JASON Manford and his fellow comedians look back over some of the most memorable moments of 2012. For starters, there’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. At the time, it seemed that most of the initial cynicism and complaints about how much it was all costing was swept away in a wave of Union Jacks and gold medals... perhaps the comedians will provide a dissenting voice.

... SINGS DISNEY SONGS

BBC Four, 8pm

DISNEY characters and their catchy songs have made up many generations’ childhood. This one-off documentary pays homage with a selection of interpretations of music from the studio’s films over the past 40 years. Expect all the usual Disney lovers, including Celine Dion and Elton John.