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DVD Review

DVD cover

Clash of the Santas


Starring: Robson Greene and Mark Benton
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: PG
Available 09 November 2009

Colin and Howie hot foot it over to Lithuania to participate in a Santa convention. Meanwhile Jackie, Colin’s understanding wife, is at home desperately willing Colin to make it back in time for Christmas Day with his children, while Pauline, Howie’s estranged wife, is planning a French Christmas and turkey fricassee with new beau Jean Luc, and Victoria...

Clash of the Santas (2008) is the latest comedy in the series that was started by 2004's Christmas Lights and also includes Northern Lights (2006) and City Lights (2007). Once again it stars Robson Green and Mark Benton as two friends who often clash on matters that really aren't that important - this time it's who should represent England in the annual World Santa Clause competition.

Every year Colin (Green) gets out his red and white outfit to play Santa at the local Christmas Fare. Howie (Benton) on the other hand doesn't really believe that children should make such a commercial fuss about Santa. This year Howie takes his daughter to see a department store Santa. After waiting in line for ages, he and the rest of the shoppers are about to be turned away after the store Santa goes AWOL. Seeing the disappointment on his daughter's face is all the encouragement Howie needs to step in and offer to be the store's Santa for the rest of the day.

Not long after, the very grateful store's grotto manager, Alice (Emma Cunniffe), calls into see Howie and asks him if he'd be up for travelling to Lithuania to represent England in the World Santa competition. Of course, Colin isn't happy. He's spent his whole life trying to be the perfect Santa, while Howie never really cared about dressing up and yelling: "Ho! Ho! Ho!" In the end Colin agrees to support his friend, by being Santa's elf, but neither friend are prepared for the coming arguments which will test their friendship to breaking point.

Don't worry if you've never seen any of the previous shows, as Clash of the Santas works well as a standalone TV special. You don't need to know anything about Colin and Howie's past, and what you do need to know is neatly revealed here.

Green and Benton are on their usual top form and you can really believe that, as mismatched as they are, they are two close friends who have experienced the pitfalls of life together. Yes, it's a little sickly sweet but thankfully it stays just this side of making you want to reach for a sick bag.

This is good, honest family entertainment which will appeal to the whole family over the festive period.


Darren Rea

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