Richard Ord: The Christmas Day drama at our house

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With just a throttling, two deaths, a knife and gun threat and one act of infidelity, I couldn’t help but feel EastEnders has gone a little soft over Christmas.

Surely they could have squeezed in an explosion or two before the credits rolled on Christmas day.

That said, I did miss the first five minutes, so maybe one of the market stall holders who never speaks was garotted (with tinsel, of course, just to keep it Christmassy).

If this escalation of depressing violence on EastEnders at Christmas is to continue, I fear for the viewers of next year’s popular cockney TV soap.

To top this year’s grim toll of misery, they’re going to have turn Albert Square into something like the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. Here’s hoping, it might keep me awake.

This year, it was real life drama that kept the adrenaline flowing in the Ord household.

Forget a double espresso or siblings plunging to their deaths in a TV soap to keep your awake at Christmas, we had L-plates!

While our youngest boy Isaac, 13, got a bike, our Bradley, 17, received learner plates and his name on the family car insurance. My wife clearly likes to live dangerously.

We were travelling to my brother-in-law’s house for Christmas dinner and freshly-insured Bradley insisted he drive us.

My wife, in a moment of madness, the like of which hadn’t been seen since my marriage proposal, said yes.

If the comedic potential of our learner-driver son taking us out in the car for the first time on Christmas Day wasn’t enough, my wife insisted I take a back seat holding a huge two gallon trifle in a glass bowl! (We were supplying desserts for the meal, in case you were wondering. It’s not some bizarre Ord family dessert-based rite of passage, honest).

It turned out not so bad. We all arrived in one piece and relatively trifle-stain free.

To the casual observer, our journey may have made for interesting viewing.

My son kangaroo-hopping the car along the high street as he tried to find the gears; my wife screeching blue murder - and the occasional driving tip - from the passenger seat; while I balanced a huge wobbling mass of custard, jelly and chocolate-sprinkled cream in the back of the car.

Perhaps next year, like EastEnders, we can up our game a bit. I’ll try spinning plates and maybe introduce some live animals with me in the back seat. With a nod to the classic TV show It’s a Knockout, I’d it all dressed in a penguin costume.