Clash Of The Santas. Image shows from L to R: Colin (Robson Green), Howie (Mark Benton). Copyright: Granada Productions.

Clash Of The Santas

Press Clippings

Lark Rise To Candleford was cutting-edge social commentary compared to Clash Of The Santas, the latest in Robson Green and Mark Benton's buddy-bonding adventures as mates Colin and Howie. Come on, you must remember their comedy classic Christmas Lights. No? Lucky you.

This time around the bickering duo found themselves doing battle in the Santa World Championships in Lithuania, which at least offered the sight of turkey bowling, surely destined to be a Setanta special. But what set itself up as a defence of the true spirit of Christmas - Santa's bulging sack screamed Family Values - got buried under an avalanche of stereotypes and misogynistic gags that were about as funny as leftover Brussels sprouts.

Keith Watson, Metro, 22nd December 2008

Robson Green and Mark Benton reprise their 'dumb and dumber' act from Northern Lights as Geordie friends Colin (Green) and Howie (Benton), who here find themselves going head-to-head at the World Santa Championships in, er, Lithuania. Fun and frolics are what's promised, though all but the most inebriated may find the merriment a tad thin on the ground.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 21st December 2008

Robson Green and Mark Benton star in this Christmas comedy caper. Body shape can play a large part in determining people's talents, so Willie Carson made for a perfect jockey, Michael Phelps is part-fish, and Mark Benton is just right to play Father Christmas. Which annoys Robson Green no end as Mark's asked to represent the UK in Lithuania at a Santa Claus convention. But if you ask anyone - go on, anyone, apart from him, as he's a bit odd - they'd agree Mark fits the bill better. Come on, Robson, at least you've got a natty elf costume to wear... Seasonal fun full of cheer.

What's On TV, 21st December 2008

You know what to expect when Robson Green and Mark Benton get together for one of these shamelessly lightweight comedy-dramas - especially when, as was the case when they first paired up to play these warring brothers-in-law Colin and Howie, the storyline is centred on Christmas.

This latest outing finds them heading off to Lithuania (well, why not?), where Howie has been asked to represent England at the World Santa Championships - the snag being that he happens to hate Christmas and all it stands for. Colin, on the other hand, still believes it's a magical time of year, and is more than a little aggrieved that he hasn't been offered the role himself.

Daily Star, 21st December 2008

This is as fluffy as the trim on Santa's costume and as daft as the idea that an overweight middle-aged man could ever squeeze down your chimney. But let's not quibble, because this one-off comedy drama, the latest spin-off from Christmas Lights, reunites the popular Robson Green and Mark Benton as competitive brothers-in-law.

This time they're taking part in an international Santa competition in Lithuania. By the time they've had a go at the likes of turkey bowling and mince pie munching, there's barely time to get home to their families for Christmas. The storyline is thinner than gravy in the Scrooge household, so just think of this as a vehicle for Green and Benton to be lovable chappies against a festive backdrop of Santas and snow.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 21st December 2008