And here we go…

If you tune into BBC1 on Christmas night, you will be confronted by the usual EastEnders fare, mostly consisting of angry people shouting at each other.

And if previous so-called ‘festive’ editions are anything to go by, you can also expect the population of Albert Square to be one fewer before you have had time to finish off your turkey.

That’s because although BBC1 once used to deliver the joy that was The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show to families tuning in on December 25, these days its programmers are happier serving up mindless aggression, sometimes culminating in the dismal death of one of the square’s loathsome characters.

Not that BBC1 has the monopoly on misery and melancholy at Christmas. I dare say something similar has been dreamt up to spread a similar kind of Yuletide ‘cheer’ in Coronation Street.

At least we now have countless alternative channels we can choose to watch instead, and I have discovered one that will bring a smile back to your face, even if it can never be a substitute for Eric and Ernie.

You may already have heard of it. It’s called the Hydraulic Press Channel.

If HPC is new to you, then note that it’s not a TV channel as we oldies would recognise it, but rather one you can find online, on YouTube, and they effectively only broadcast one programme, generally putting out a new episode each week.

But don’t expect much change in the format, which only ever involves an amiable Finnish guy called Lauri Vuohensilta crushing things in - you’ve guessed it - a hydraulic press.

He appears to have at least two of these in his factory that are capable of delivering hundreds of tons of force, but viewers never see any evidence of them being put to legitimate industrial use, but rather only to amuse Lauri, his wife Anni, and followers now running into millions.

All manner of things are pressed and compressed, including an ice hockey puck, rubber duck, bowling ball, glass, diamond - you name it - just to see what happens.

Lauri and Anni find the crushing of square-section steel tubing particularly satisfying.

But they get most fun out of guessing which items will explode before the crushing finishes, and you will be surprised to find that paper can be as explosive as an EastEnders character’s temper.

The Hydraulic Press Channel clearly panders to the same destructive instincts we have all felt while smashing booze bottles at the bottle bank after Christmas, or breaking the ice on frozen puddles, but Lauri’s sense of humour, and his quirky Finnish character and accent are also part of the fun.

Sometimes there is more to the episode than simple destruction, such as the one where Lauri conducts an experiment to find out what happens when you crush snow.

Tune into the channel yourself to find out if it melts or turns to ice.

Lauri’s videos have been viewed millions of times, and his cult status is such that the channel is reputed to earn him at least £30,000 a year.

Indeed, his broadcasts always end by encouraging viewers to suggest new things to go under the press.

Just in case you happen to have an industrial-strength hydraulic press in your shed, Lauri sometimes advises viewers: “Don’t try this at home”, which is a shame because I have already written my Christmas list. And you can guess what is at the top of it.