T. Bag's Christmas Cracker

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UK Air Date27/12/1988, 9.25am
Repeat ScreeningN/A
Copyright YearMCMLXXXVIII (1988)
VTR Date08/08/1988
Fremantle Archive Ref45121
Consecutive Episode Number41
IMDB LinkEpisode page

T. Bag (Tallulah Bag)Elizabeth Estensen
T. ShirtJohn Hasler
Mrs. JollyVeronica Clifford
Santa ClausJohn Blythe
Edward JohnsonJames Hillier-Brook

Make UpCaroline Becker
Costume DesignerRaymond Childe
Graphic DesignerChris Connors
Stage ManagerBobby Webber
Production AssistantCaroline Vance
Written ByLee Pressman
Grant Cathro
DesignerJohn Plant
Executive ProducerCharles Warren
Producer/DirectorLeon Thau

T-Bag has a plan to distribute her gifts to all the children on Santa’s list and when the children open them they will be in her power. So she goes to the first house on Santa’s list pretending to be a nanny, Merry Pippins, but when T-Shirt tries to stop her chaos ensues!
The High-T Website synopsis
T-Bag hates Christmas and when she discovers that Santa Claus is about to start his travels to the many chimney pots all over the world, she sets out to stop him.
TV Times listing
T-Bag (Elizabeth Estensen) hates Christmas and when she discovers that Santa Claus is about to start his travels to the many chimney pots all over the world, she sets out to stop him. She's transported back in time to the home of an Edwardian family. Can she spoil the young son's fun?
Lookin listing
T-Bag (Elizabeth Estensen) hates Christmas and when she discovers that Santa Claus is about to start his travels to the many chimney pots all over the world, she sets out to stop him. Determined to spoil the joy and fun children have at Christmas, she finds herself transported back in time to the home of an Edwardian family who have a young son who loves Christmas and all that it means. Will T-Bag, with the help of T-Shirt (John Hasler) be successful in spoiling Christmas for children....?
Thames Television publicity synopsis

If you would like to contribute your favourite/funniest etc quotes from this episode please contact me.

The Great Tallulah Bag

Santa: Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh, ohhhhhhh, oh look at the time, look at the time, look at the time, where are those elves, there's so much to do and no-one to help me, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
T-Bag: You there.
Santa: Me?
T-Bag: Yes you, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, whatever your name is, freeze.
Santa: Hello who are you and how did you get in here?
T-Bag: None of your business fuzz face, I need you.
Santa: I'd like to stop to have a chinwag and to show you all over the place but it's the time you see, there just isn't the time.
T-Bag: I don't believe this, alright then, you are in my power now, you are under my command, you will do everything I say without question. I have a wonderfully wicked plan and you are going to help me.
Santa: I'm sorry I don't know what you mean.
T-Bag: What?
Santa: I was not in your power, I never was and never will be, so if you be so kind and leave me to get on with my work whoever you are.
T-Bag: I am the great Tallulah Bag.
Santa: I don't care if you're the great paper bag. So if you'll excuse me.
T-Bag: Blast and curse and blast again. Even my monstrous magic is no match against a goodie-goodie like that. I've got to knobble him before the night is out, but how?
Santa (off screen): Elves, where are you?
T-Bag: Elves, elves, now there's a thought, I like it!

Added: 04/04/2012

A Christmas message of my own

T-Bag: Now then, T-Shirt, come on quickly.
T-Shirt (off screen): Do I have to?
T-Bag: T-Shirt.
T-Shirt (off screen): I feel like a twit.
T-Bag: Here.
(T-Bag uses her magic and T-Shirt appears dressed as an elf).
T-Shirt: Look at the state of me, what's all this about eh?
T-Bag: Listen carefully, there's something I want you to do for me.
T-Shirt: I, I, here we go again, what is it this time?
T-Bag: See this sack?
T-Shirt: What's in it? If it's anything nasty I'm not interested.
T-Bag: Oh don't be like that, this is for you (T-Bag hands him a present).
T-Shirt: Tell me what's in it.
T-Bag: It's a surprise, open it.
T-Shirt: It's empty.
T-Bag: Is it? (T-Bag's face appears in the box) Festive greetings, girls and boys, throw aside those other toys. Listen now as I intone, a Christmas message of my own. Every minute, every hour, you'll be helpless in my power, you will serve me one and all, always at my beck and call, leave all joyous thoughts behind, close the lid and close your mind.
T-Shirt: I am in your power oh great and wondrous majesty.
T-Bag: I'm very glad to hear it.
T-Shirt: Right, what do I do?
T-Bag: I want one of these merry surprise packages delivered tonight to every child in the land.
T-Shirt: How will you do that?
T-Bag: I won't be doing it. That bewhiskered old fool will do it for me.
T-Shirt: Santa Claus.
T-Bag: Exactly.
T-Shirt: Delivering your boxes instead of his toys.
T-Bag: Precisely
T-Shirt: So all the children in the world will be under your power.
T-Bag: Absolutely right my cheeky faced little chum. (Squeals with delight) Oh isn't it a simply wonderful thought. (Knocking noises) Quiet, he's coming back. Remember her must deliver that sack instead of his own. Do your stuff.
(T-Bag disappears and Santa enters the workshop).
Santa: I'm late, I'm late. Ah there you are and where are the others?
T-Shirt: Eh?
Santa: Oh never mind. Some help you've been, I don't think.
T-Shirt: Yes but...
Santa: You elves, you're never here when I need you. You never come when I call and you never do what I say.
T-Shirt: Yes but...
Santa: Look at the time, I should have left one hour ago.
T-Shirt: Yes but...
Santa: It is not right, it is not right but I am going now, no thanks to you. Oh would it be asking too much, do you suppose, if there was a nice hot cup of cocoa waiting for me when I get back?
T-Shirt: Santa.
Santa: What?
T-Shirt: Let me help load up your sleigh.
Santa: What are you blathering about?
T-Shirt: You mustn't forget your toys.
Santa: All my toys are already on the sleigh. Oh you daft little blighter. Anyway, goodbye, I'm off.
T-Shirt: But Santa.
Santa: I'm late, I'm late.
T-Shirt: Don't go, Santa, wait!
(Santa leaves and T-Bag reappears).
T-Bag: You stupid boy.
T-Shirt: He wouldn't listen.
T-Bag: Oh you should have made him listen, oh you're hopeless.
T-Shirt: Look I could put on a Santa suit (he uses his magic and he is now wearing a Santa costume) and deliver your boxes for you.
T-Bag: I could do that myself you little fool but now I'll have to stop that fat goody-goody from delivering all that good cheer to all those little ones.
T-Shirt: But it's too late, he's already gone off on his deliveries.
T-Bag: Indeed but there's more than one way to pickle a walnut T-Shirt. See this here.
T-Shirt: What is it?
T-Bag: A complete list of addresses where fat face will be calling. All I have to do is knobble him, put him out of action then I can deliver this sack of goodies myself.
T-Shirt: How can I help?
T-Bag: You can help by staying here and staying out of trouble and take off that ridiculous outfit.
T-Shirt: No, I rather like it, ho, ho, ho.
T-Bag: Now let's see who's first on the list. Master Edward Johnson, Thirty Cherry Blossom Gardens, London, England. Right, Master Edward Johnson, get ready. A surprise guest is about to drop in.

Added: 27/12/2018

A wonderful Christmas

Edward: Mrs Jolly, Mrs Jolly.
Mrs Jolly: Oh young Master Edward, what a lovely job you've made of the room. Look at this.
Edward: Do you really like it Mrs Jolly?
Mrs Jolly: Like it? I think it's wonderful. What a pity your parents won't be here to see it.
Edward: Do they have Christmas in India Mrs Jolly?
Mrs Jolly: Well I don't know about that but what I do know is that your mother and father'll both be thinking of you tomorrow.
Edward: I wish they were here.
Mrs Jolly: Oh I know you do Edward, I know you do. But they'll be back in the new year and until then it's just you and me so what do you say, we keep our spirits up and have a wonderful Christmas all to ourselves.
Edward: I suppose so.
Mrs Jolly: Now how's the tree doing?
Edward: It's fine but I can't seem to find a fairy to go on the top.
Mrs Jolly: Well we can't have Christmas without a fairy, can we? I tell you what, while I'm hunting for it you go upstairs and tidy your room.
Edward: Ohhhhh.
Mrs Jolly: You want it nice for Father Christmas don't you?
Edward: Yes.
Mrs Jolly: Well off you go. (Edward leaves the room) Poor wee soul.

Added: 04/04/2015

I might see Father Christmas

Edward: But I'm telling you I saw it.
Mrs Jolly: A woman floating out of the sky on an umbrella.
Edward: Look up there. Oh she's gone. She was there.
Mrs Jolly: You are a one Master Edward. You are a one.
Edward: I saw her.
Mrs Jolly: You're just over excited that's all.
Edward: I did.
Mrs Jolly: Well if you say so Master Edward. Now would you kindly tidy your room otherwise Father Christmas won't come down the chimney and fill up your stocking, now, do it.
Edward: Do you think I might see Father Christmas Mrs Jolly?
Mrs Jolly: Oh you'll be fast asleep before he comes.
Edward: I'm going to stay awake all night long Mrs Jolly and I'll pretend to be asleep but I'll keep one eye open, that way I'll see him won't I?
Mrs Jolly: Well you might Edward, you just might.

Added: 27/12/2018

You're here to knobble Santa Claus

T-Bag: T-Shirt!
(T-Shirt appears).
T-Shirt: Gosh, what are you doing there? Here, let me help you up. (He falls backwards and hits his head) Ohhh, what happened? What are we doing here?
T-Bag: Get up you blockhead, get up.
T-Shirt: I remember, that box, Santa Claus.
T-Bag: Shut up just shut up.
T-Shirt: Yes I remember now, you're here to knobble Santa Claus.
T-Bag: Will you button your lip or I'll button it for you.
T-Shirt: You won't get away with this.
T-Bag: Oh no, who's going to stop me?
T-Shirt: Me.
T-Bag: You, pah!
T-Shirt: I will stop you T-Bag just see if I don't.
(T-Shirt disappears).
T-Bag: T-Shirt, come back here. Ouuughhh, blast that dratted boy, no time to waste on him now.

Added: 27/12/2018

Another Santa Claus

T-Shirt: You're not Santa Claus.
Mrs Jolly: Of course I'm not Santa Claus, I'm Mrs Jolly. Who are you?
T-Shirt: No time to explain.
Mrs Jolly: Untie me.
T-Shirt: Right, hang on.
(T-Bag appears).
T-Bag: Look here chubby chops. You! I'll teach you to lead me up the garden path.
(Sounds from the roof)
T-Bag: What was that? Santa Claus, at last.
(Edward walks in covered in soot from the chimney).
Mrs Jolly: Edward.
Edward: Mrs Jolly. Why are you dressed as Santa Claus? Why is she dressed as Santa Claus? What's everybody playing at?
T-Bag: Shut up. This is a fiasco. Alright you, come out.
T-Shirt: Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas everybody.
Edward: Another Santa Claus.
T-Bag: Shut up you little...
(Sleigh sounds are heard from the roof).
Mrs Jolly: What was that?
Edward: On the roof.
T-Bag: It's him, he's here, at last. Out of my way.
T-Shirt: Don't do it.
T-Bag: Quiet.

Added: 08/12/2012

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas

T-Bag: Where is he?
(T-Bag looks under the chimney but Santa surprises her and she hits her head).
Santa: Hello again, how lovely to see you again and how nice you dress for the occasion. (The bell rings) Haaah, Midnight, let's join the festive spirit, a Merry Christmas my dear, a Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.
(They pull a cracker and they both disappear).
T-Shirt & Edward: Santa, Santa, Santa, Santa...
T-Shirt: There's no-one here.
Edward: Look, Santa Claus has been.
Mrs Jolly: Oh good.
T-Shirt: Oh I hope he's alright.
Santa (off screen): Whoa, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...
Mrs Jolly: Heavens above.
T-Shirt: He is alright.
Edward: Bye, bye Santa.

Added: 08/12/2012

Merry Christmas all

T-Shirt: Merry Christmas Mrs Jolly.
Mrs Jolly: Merry Christmas young master T-Shirt.
T-Shirt: Merry Christmas Edward.
Edward: Same to you to T-Shirt.
Mrs Jolly: Merry Christmas all. Now come on, tuck in, eat up, there's plenty for everyone.
Edward: I wonder what happened to that T-Bag woman or, or whatever her name is, she just disappeared.
T-Shirt: Forget about T-Bag, I don't know what happened to her either and I don't really care.
Mrs Jolly: Well I tell you what, I bet she wishes she was here now.
(They laugh as the scene pans to the top of the Christmas tree with T-Bag as the fairy).
T-Bag: Hmm!

Added: 27/12/2015

"The Santa Shadow"
When T-Shirt is in Santa's workshop and calls after him: "Don't go! Santa! Wait!" a shadow (possibly the boom) appears on T-Shirt's face.

"Bright Christmas"
When T-Bag is singing to Edward, reading him a bedtime story etc, it's pitch dark outside and Edward has just a single candle beside the bed, yet the room (like the whole house) is brilliantly lit throughout. It's almost as if there are studio lights up there...

"Eighties party"
Edward seems to be from Edwardian times (appropriately), but there are some very 1980s Christmas decorations on his tree and 1980s crackers at the dinner table.

For more mistakes from other episodes, please see the Nitpicker's Guide

  • John Blythe, who played Santa Claus, sadly passed away on 24th Nov 1993, aged 72.
  • This is the only Christmas special not to air on Boxing Day (26th December)