“No, not the Hootenanny. Never the Hootenanny!” New Year’s Eve for the Housebound

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

If you’re over-the-hill, stricken with ‘flu or under house arrest, chances are you’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in front of the television. It’s not that bad; you’ll save a fortune on alcohol and probably do your liver a favour in the long-run. A proverbial ‘quiet one’ basically buys you a few more nights out in the future. Quiet ones are like Nectar points. Save up enough of them and you’ll be able to party like it’s ’99 at a time more suited to you. Plus you get to spend New Year’s Day without a hangover-induced unremitting sense of guilt and self-loathing.

If you’d rather indulge in a spot of guilt and self-loathing on New Year’s Eve instead, then for God’s sake watch Numb: Simon Amstell Live at the BBC (BBC Four, 9:30pm), which sees the acerbic, anxious former Never Mind the Buzzcocks host lay bare his existential woes to an audience of sophisticated BBC Four viewers. I saw Amstell perform Numb live in Brighton earlier this year and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10:30pm) packs some real star quality this week, with a plethora of guests including none other than notorious alleged homosexual Scientologist Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Wolverine himself (Hugh Jackman), Billy Crystal as well as John Bishop and Great British Bake Off pair Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

If films are your bag, then you could do worse than toast to 2013 in front of Film4, which is showing Sexy Beast (Film4, 11:10pm). Knight of the realm Sir Ben Kingsley is terrific as a psychotic gangster tasked with coaxing Ray Winstone’s East End criminal out of his Mediterranean retirement for the fabled ‘one last job’.

There’s no Gone With the Wind on TV this New Year’s Eve, and Channel 4 plans to relive its successful allnighter house party from earlier in the year with House Party: NYE (C4, 11:50pm) – a six-hour club set featuring DJs like Annie Mac (her off Radio 1), Frankie Knuckles (me neither) and Toddla T Sound (???).

If you took MDMA earlier in the evening prior to your friends cancelling at the last minute, House Party: NYE is essential viewing, as it will further fuel the delusion you’re not actually lonely, self-hating and depressed as 2013 chimes in. Otherwise, best give it a miss.

However you spend NYE, for God’s sake don’t give in to Jool’s Annual Hootenanny (BBC2, 11:05pm). You’re better than that.