Looks Unfamiliar: Ben Baker – Just Cross That Four Out And Put A Five In

Now - The Christmas Album (Virgin/EMI, 1985) - listen to Ben Baker and Tim Worthington talking about it in Looks Unfamiliar.

Looks Unfamiliar is a podcast in which writer and occasional broadcaster Tim Worthington talks to a guest about some of the things that they remember that nobody else ever seems to.

Joining Tim for a special Christmas edition is writer, broadcaster and quizmaster Ben Baker, who’s looking back to the original Now – The Christmas Album from 1985, which has since been quietly consigned to Christmas Past for all manner of reasons – and some of them are more ‘problematic’ than others. Along the way we’ll be revealing the identity of ‘The Anti-Tim Song’, debating what we would have put on a second volume instead of just shuffling the same songs around again and again, exchanging some very frank opinions on Fairytale Of New York, and unveiling our new foolproof scheme for alluding to now-disgraced celebrities without actually naming them.

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Looks Unfamiliar Now The Christmas Album Extra: "Just Cross That Four Out And Put A Five In" Looks Unfamiliar

About Ben

Ben Baker is a writer and broadcaster. You can find his website here and follow him on Twitter at @benbakerbooks. Ben Baker’s Christmas Box, Ben’s book about the festive television schedules looking at forty years of the best, worst and weirdest Christmas TV, is available from here.

Buy A Book!

You can read much more about eighties pop music in Tim’s book The Camberwick Green Procrastination Society, a collection of columns and features. The Camberwick Green Procrastination Society is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.

Alternately, if you’re just feeling generous, you can buy me a coffee here. Like a caffeine-addicted Paul McCartney, I would enjoy simply having one.

Further Listening

If you’re looking for more Looks Unfamiliar with a Christmas twist, you can find Ben talking about Bernard And The Genie here and Mr T’s Christmas Dream,There’s Something Wrong In ParadiseGod In The HouseTo Hell With The DevilHighwayThe Flint Street Nativity, the 1990 Bullseye Christmas Special, Adam And Joe’s Fourmative Years and TFI 1998 here. You can also listen to me and Ben chatting about the BBC schools programme Watch‘s retelling of The Nativity here.

Ben has also made less seasonal appearances on Looks Unfamiliar talking about TV MayhemThe Onion Bag, Fiendish Feet, the early internet craze for misidentifying every comedy song as ‘by’ Weird Al Yankovic, Bingo Brown, and the International Youth Service penpal scheme here, and ToksvigThe Whizzkid’s GuideMysteries Of Old Peking, Mo-Ho-Bish-O-Pi, Go (the 1999 film), and Making Your Own TV Listings Magazines here. Ben also joined me for a special edition taking a look back at the show that gave Looks Unfamiliar its name – cosy ITV daytime nostalgia show Looks Familiar – here and for a chat about EastEnders spinoff single Something Outa Nothing by Letitia Dean And Paul J. Medford here.

Ben has also appeared on Tim’s Marvel Cinematic Universe podcast It’s Good, Except It Sucks talking about Ant-Man hereCloak And Dagger here and Avengers: Endgame here.

Some of the more unusual Christmas Singles of the eighties – including Oh Blimey It’s Christmas by Frank Sidebottom – were the subject of Looks Unfamiliar with Stephen O’Brien, which you can find here.

Further Reading

2 Hours Of Wicked Mixes To Keep You Moving All Night Long is a feature about Now Dance – the first ever Now That’s What I Call Music! spinoff from 1985 – which you can find here. You Can’t Imagine Summer Without It is a look at Now – The Summer Album, the bizarre follow-up to Now – The Christmas Album; you can find it here.

© Tim Worthington.
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