Iranian president to deliver Channel 4's alternative Christmas message
In a rather bold move Channel 4's now traditional 'alternative' Xmas message this year will be delivered by Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. For this they'll catch a lot of flack and heads may roll too. Personally I think it's a good idea: we need to understand Iran better (understanding does not imply condoning or supporting). Perhaps he'll spout a lot of complete baloney, perhaps not, perhaps both. But the 'talk to the hand strategy' the West has adopted with respect to Islamic countries it has a beef with hasn't worked, predictably in my opinion. Diplomacy is more than worth a shot. If I'm not watching it, I'll definitely be recording it. And will he be dressed up as Father Christmas, that's another pressing question...
And if it doesn't lead to anything then I'd like at least to be a fly on the wall when Melanie Phillips blows a gasket or two while watching Mr A. (she will watch the program, she can't help herself).
Channel 4 has opted to end the year on a controversial note by inviting the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to give the broadcaster's alternative Christmas message tomorrow.
But the channel has shied away from scheduling the president's address against the Queen's Christmas speech at 3pm. Unlike most years, it is not airing its alternative Christmas message at the same time as the Queen, but is instead scheduling Ahmadinejad's message at 7.15pm.
Channel 4 has said that the Muslim president, who has a hostile relationship with many western countries, will deliver a spiritual address that will feature a message of seasonal goodwill.
It will be preceded by a short introduction designed to place his speech in context, the broadcaster added.