IT'S not often that we venture away from terrestrial television for review purposes but Sky One's The Hogfather which has been running over the past two nights deserves a mention.

First of all, Sky appear to have achieved the impossible and brought author Terry Pratchett's Discworld to life.

It's hard to believe that this is the same channel which serves up Cirque de Celebrite.

The Hogfather is essentially a fairy story. When the Father Christmas-like Hogfather disappears - the faceless auditors who run the universe want him dead - Death steps in to keep children believing in him.

Then Death's feisty granddaughter sets out to bring back the Hogfather and restore some order.

It's actually much more complicated than that but I think too much detail will merely confuse.

Rather like an extremely dark Harry Potter, The Hogfather was four hours of first rate entertainment.

The whole thing looked fabulous - I hate to think how much it all cost - and could easily have been a Hollywood studio production.

The performances were great too. With a cast including David Jason, Joss Ackland and Ian Richardson, it would, admittedly, be difficult to fail but they all had you believing in this strange, slightly off-kilter universe.

This wasn't for young children. The evil Mr Teatime (it's pronounced tee-at-i-mee) was one of the creepiest villains you'll see.

He was a cross between a Bond baddie and Hannibal Lector.

Had the Beeb come up with such an inspired programme over the festive period it would be heralded as a classic. So well done Sky, it was great.