As mentioned previous , one of the two shows is the 30 or so minuet version edited from the 40 minuet version that appears in the "best of compilation" which was 1st released in video in the mid 1980's.
There are 3 sequences missing from this 1973 episode , the 1st being Harold singing with jubilation when receiving his tickets for his booked holiday before being stopped by his horse "neighing" loudly has him shouting "all right , all right ..keep ya bleed'in hair on" ...the next is the closing shot of Harold agreeing to stay home after opening his Christmas gift , he holds up his gift of Y-fronts and says "if my world shrinks any smaller , I'll disappear up the back of these !!.."
yet another scene has been omitted from this show , where Harold is writing a message on his Christmas gift to his father , in which he writes several times in pencil before rubbing out each message for being too "endearing"...
It is not clear "why" the BBC removed these from what is called a "Special" ,that meaning longer the the standard 27 minuets that all sit-coms were written to back in the 1960s & 70's , I am assuming at some point in the running of rare repeats of the show a 27 minuet version was put together to fit in a time slot , and when it came to releasing this for a final DVD master , the BBC felt the quality of the shorter version made later was of higher picture quality than the original 1974 master.
That saying , there is no excuse for not making it available , and when you are buying the "Complete Steptoe" box set as I did , you are not actually getting everything ever filmed.
Whats more laughable is that it was not edited for "non P.C." reasons, as most of the now coincided racial and political incorrectness dialogue has been totally untouched in all other episodes, so to call this 1974 Christmas special "special" is a breach of trades description as its not the version that was broadcast in 1974 !
I hope this has helped any fans that might be curious to "what" is missing from this episode , and if you wish to see the full version of the classic it can be found of the Best Of Steptoe released on video some 20 years ago.
I doubt this will ever be available complete on DVD , but now anyone reading this will know what has been lost until a re-release is available..