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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 14:16 GMT
Christmas repeats 'up a quarter'
Wallace & Gromit
Wallace and Gromit will have a repeat screening on Christmas Day
The number of repeats on TV this Christmas has increased by a quarter since last year, according to research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.

The study found that 44% of all programmes shown between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day were scheduled to be repeats, up from 35% a year ago.

Five was the worst offender, as almost 60% of its output had been seen before, the party claimed.

Christmas Day repeats were up on all networks except Channel 4, it added.

The research also suggested that 80% of all programmes specifically produced for children shown between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day would be repeats.


"People are fed up with Christmas because of repeats," the Liberal Democrats' culture spokesman, Don Foster, said.

"Children's programmes are the most worrying of all. Christmas is predominently for children and it's a pity that they're getting 80% repeats."

We can access programmes in a variety of ways to watch time and again at a time of our own choosing, so putting them in the schedules is not a good excuse
Don Foster
Lib Dem culture spokesman

However, the BBC has argued it is delivering original programming during the Christmas period.

"The BBC pulls out all the stops over Christmas to bring viewers original festive programmes and film premieres for all the family to enjoy," a BBC spokesman said.

"There will be no repeats in peak time on BBC One on Christmas Day and we are very happy to be able to offer viewers the chance to see some of the BBC's best programmes again over the holiday period - our research shows that viewers really appreciate this.

"No UK broadcaster invests as much in original UK programmes as the BBC and our schedules reflect that."

Mr Foster said there was no need to repeat programmes during primetime schedules, owing to the growth of personal video recorders and other on-demand services.

"We can access programmes in a variety of ways to watch time and again at a time of our own choosing, so putting them in the schedules is not a good excuse," he said.

Mr Foster admitted he did enjoy some Christmas repeats, however.

"Some of the blockbuster films I enjoy watching, or a Morecombe and Wise Christmas special, are great. But I prefer more original programming like Cranford."

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