“Not sure what we’ve done to deserve stuff like this, but I think we must have been very naughty.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Bad Santas, Channel 4

“I imagine a bunch of smug TV execs scrawled an idea on a beermat during an all-day bender back in March and their aim was simply to make something Christmas-themed that would fill the space between all those ad breaks encouraging us to go out and engage in a credit frenzy. Sometimes though the effect is more important than the intention behind it and the effect of this programme is to make us think about a certain group of people… I’m not sure if getting a paid gig as a Santa-impersonator will turn their lives around in the way the show promises but perhaps it has to promise that to satisfy the demands of TV and, really, what’s being offered is a sensible, small step back into the world of work and commitment.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“Isn’t there something tasteless about making the long-term unemployed leap over a holly-decked set of hurdles like this? The upside might be real but the downside involved beaten and troubled men taking their latest disappointment in public. Not sure what we’ve done to deserve stuff like this, but I think we must have been very naughty.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“I can’t help thinking it’s really all more about television than actually helping them, and wondering how much good it’s really doing. If you have been out of work for a long time, maybe have a problem with drink or are estranged from your family, then is this sort of reality show – involving dressing up, putting a fake beard on, a lot of enforced jollity, not to mention having to remember the names of nine reindeer – really the best way forward?”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“As the grotto lights went out over this first of two episodes, my mind was more on the limitations of the role. Here was James, like Santa, a cocktail of impossible optimism and limited ability to deliver. As Frank plotted becoming the highest-earning Claus in town, it was clear from James’s colleague Matt that none of these men had realistic chances of getting a booking. It was like watching Elf, but rolling the credits before Will Ferrell’s dad became nice again.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

“Mooted as ‘perfect’ gifts were nut brittle with added chilli and rosemary, a gingerbread house and a large slab of fish. ‘What could be nicer,’ a Baker Brother asked, ‘than to give away as a present a side of salmon you’ve smoked yourself?’ I fear that my answer to that question was not the one the Baker Brothers were fishing for.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“In it’s final instalment Inside Claridge’s verged on being a very clever sit-com, as chefs from Copenhagen restaurant Noma descended on the hotel kitchens to prepare a special feast.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express