Tormented TV viewers called for the licence fee to be scrapped after the BBC announced Mrs Brown’s Boys is returning for Christmas.
Brendan O’Carroll’s love-it-or-loathe-it sitcom will feature in the festive line-up not just once – but twice.
News of the twin specials sparked online outrage with many fearing they would be forced to watch it during Covid-19 lockdown.
Even the broadcaster’s own chief content officer Charlotte Moore admitted it had been a "real struggle" to make Christmas shows due to the pandemic.
Last year’s Mrs Brown special – A Wonderful Mammy – drew in more than 7million UK viewers.
But the series featuring the wise-cracking cross-dressing matriarch remains reviled by many.
One viewer tweeted: “Just when you think we’ve all suffered enough this year they go and make a Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special.’’
Another said: “The BBC has confirmed that Mrs Brown’s Boys will be showing over Christmas. As if 2020 hasn’t been bad enough.’’
While a third raged: “Forget Covid there’s my Christmas ruined. Mrs Brown’s Boys. I demand to know who watches it and who likes it?’’
Another viewer wrote: “I remember when I got Covid back in the spring... I started watching a lot of Mrs Brown’s Boys and knew then I’d lost my sense of taste.’’
One said the show had "fewer laughs than Panorama" and another commented that "root canal work is an attractive alternative".
Another posted a picture of a blank screen saying BBC programmes had been unexpectedly interrupted with the message: “Somehow still better than Mrs Brown’s Boys.’’
Others slammed the line-up as a whole for its dearth of fresh content.
Christmas editions of Call The Midwife, EastEnders and Doctor Who are scheduled – along with a Strictly special featuring a rehashed compilation of 25 of the best dances in the show’s history.
One viewer said: “This line-up is the best argument to end the licence fee I’ve ever seen.’’
Another said: “The mediocrity is staggering.’’
While a third wrote: “This has been the same BBC line-up on Christmas day for about 10 years running. And they’re all utter rubbish shows. Dreadful tele.’’
Ms Moore said despite the difficulties of filming shows under social distancing rules stars and camera crews had "pulled out all the stops".
“Trying to work out what we could actually manage to pull off for Christmas... I can’t pretend it’s been relaxing or without its challenges,’’ she said.
“With some shows it’s been easier than others to get talent and everyone together and with some shows it’s taken a lot of effort.
“But I sensed a real camaraderie to make this happen.
“Some of the big talent and the production teams have rallied together and we feel it’s really important to have a good Christmas," Ms Moore added.