The Christmas RT plays a key role in promoting the BBC festive schedule, if it's no longer doing so, and it's putting C4 cartoons on the front, I shudder to think what other horrors I might find inside...
Heh, of course as mentioned barely any actual shows get on the cover of the Christmas Radio Times. The only actual programmes would probably be Only Fools in 1985, 'stEnders in 1986, Harry Potter on Radio 4 in 2000 and Who in 2005.
In the early seventies you used to get photo covers quite a lot but they would just be BBC stars in general, The Two Ronnies were on the cover in 1971 and Mike Yarwood in 1978 but they were more promoting the whole season than just their shows. A choirboy in 1989 was ostensibly promoting Carols From Kings (last ever photo cover, fact fans) but was just a nice picture really, same with Wallace and Gromit in 2008 and 2010 (especially as they were only on in repeat form in 2010) and the same this year I think, it is a "nice" picture first - especially as they have the free book offer - and a C4 show second.
Anyway, on Christmas Day it's nine BBC choices to two ITV, and one of those is Paul O'Grady.
One show I worry about is Mrs Brown. The Eve episode is well trailed but will people realise Boxing Day is the second part not a repeat? Ditto on New Years Day for the new series?
I know you're suggesting Christmas on the Beeb is full of "filler" but I'm pretty sure nobody will think 9.30 on Boxing Day will be the slot for a repeat. And given BBC2, ITV and C4 are all well into lengthy films and dramas at 9.30, it'll have a captive audience.