In the manner of those holiday ads that now start on Christmas Eve (used to be Boxing Day) I have a few hotel recommendations for 2024. Got a pen and paper? Go on, I’ll wait.

They are, in no particular order, the Queen’s Hut, near Aboyne on Royal Deeside, Stenton House, and the Meikleour Arms, both Perthshire. All three featured in Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Hogmanay Fishing (BBC2, Friday), and are so gorgeous they are sure to be besieged with booking requests, so don’t hang about.

As Bob said, it was the festive show, so why not push the boat out? Indeed, though not many can command a private performance from Clare Grogan and Altered Images on Hogmanay.

Luxury accommodation and Scottish chanteuse aside, it was angling business as usual for the pair. Paul remembered holidays in Scotland with Whitehouse snr, another keen fisherman. Bob, who was seven when his dad died, listened to the tales, enraptured.

It has been a rotten old year for our Bob, what with the shingles and other health woes. It had been worse, he said, than the heart troubles that led to making the show in the first place.

But here we all were, together again, limping towards the end of the year and looking forward to the next. “Tell you what, Bob,” said Whitehouse as they drove to the next fishing spot, “Scotland never, ever disappoints.” Oh to see ourselves as others see us.

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The Piano at Christmas (Channel 4, Christmas Day) was another show that did not mess with a winning formula. Well, it did, but then wisely thought better of it. As if it was not enough to have past contenders reprise their performances, viewers had to endure Jo Brand and Tom Allen trying to murder Fairytale of New York. The essential charm of The Piano lies in giving amateur musicians no-one has heard of the chance to shine. We got there eventually, finishing with a performance from Lucy, the winner of the 2023 competition, playing alongside Gregory Porter. Yes, that Gregory Porter. Now that is what you call a special guest.

All hail EastEnders (Christmas Day, BBC1). Once content with shocking viewers on December 25 with news of Den and Angie’s impending divorce, this year the writers delivered not one but two murders in the Queen Vic.

By the time the dust settled all the women present had given the same story to the police, someone was fighting for his life in hospital and another was reportedly on the run. Just your average season of peace and goodwill to all men, really.

There is probably some sage comment on the state of the world, or modern relationships, buried in this storyline but that can wait till another day. I daresay the ‘Enders will be milking the plot till at least August, so there will be plenty of time to discuss.

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If you were still in the mood for festive homicide, Murder is Easy (BBC1, Wednesday-Thursday) more than held its end up. The pretty village of Whychwood was hoaching with bodies, leaving amateur investigator Luke Fitzwilliam (David Jonsson) struggling to keep up.

This adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel was meant to be a radical refresh, but it played to the same formula as all the others. Bolted on awkwardly to the traditional murder mystery was talk of post-colonial politics and other topics. All told, it was rather a guddle.

You can’t keep a great cast down though, with Jonsson, Mark Bonnar, and Douglas Henshall among those coming to the rescue. Even so, I think that’s enough Agatha Christie at Christmas now.

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“I wonder what Caroline would think of all this? She’d be laughing, wouldn’t she?” said a friend in Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy (BBC2, Christmas Day). It says something about the affection in which the later writer and comedian was held that the evening devoted to her was equal parts tears and laughter.

You knew the laughter was coming. How could it not with the creator of Mrs Merton and The Royle Family in the Arena spotlight? Even the tears, when inevitably they came, had brought smiles along for company. “She was just a complete and utter crackpot,” said her pal and colleague Craig Cash. A fearless soul too, as we saw in the clip of her slowly eviscerating Bernard Manning live on television. “Bernard,” said little old Mrs Merton in her sing-song way, “who do you vote for now Hitler’s dead?”

It was telling, too, that when she made a friend she kept them for life. The woman who wondered what Aherne would make of “all this” was a fellow BBC secretary from the comedian’s temping days in Manchester. No Cambridge Footlights for her.

Her last outing was to a local Costa Coffee. “You don’t get many Carolines to the dozen,” said Sue Johnston, her on-screen mum in The Royle Family. You certainly don’t.