Monday, 31 December 2007

Dinner for One

"Same procedure", but not in the UK.

It is a curiosity that this, the most frequently repeated programme in German television history, is an English-language sketch broadcast every New Year's Eve. It's an even greater oddity that this programme has never been shown in the UK despite enjoying a cult following of millions in Germany.

I first heard of the programme during my year abroad in Germersheim in 1996/97 and must say that I was rather nonplussed when my school colleagues told me about it. Even more bewilderingly, the programme's ubiquitous phrase - "Same procedure as every year" - has pride of place in most Germans' consciousness and has even made its way into everyday parlance. Lots of Germans have uttered these words to me over the ensuing years, and if I hadn't heard of the sketch, I wouldn't have had a clue what they were on about.

I finally watched the programme in question on New Year's Eve in 2005. We Brits found it mildly amusing, but our German friends could barely contain their chuckle muscles.

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