It just wouldn't be Christmas without Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the assorted Crachit family on the television, especially the crippled Tiny Tim wishing us all a Merry Christmas.
It is the death of Tiny Tim that is a large part of the change in Scrooge, the ghost of Christmas yet to come showing a crutch with no owner leaning against the wall but annoyingly Charles Dickens doesnt explain just why Tim will die if the miserly Scrooge doesn't change his ways.
Now, Russell Chesney, a physician at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital at the University of Tennessee Health Science Centre has worked out that all the clues leads towards Tiny Tim suffering from tuberculosis and rickets.
'In Dickens time, 60% of children of working-class London families had rickets, brought on by poor nutrition and lack of sunlight. At the same time, half of working-class kids had signs of tuberculosis'.
So how could have Scrooge not being such a miser have kept Tiny Tim from dying?
'Tiny Tim's rickets could have been reversed and his tuberculosis improved by sunshine, a better diet and cod liver oil, a supplement rich in vitamin D' Chesney said which ties in with Scrooge giving his hard pressed clerk a raise so he could buy better food to improve his family's diet and keep Tiny Tim alive.
Now all we need is a linguist to tell us what the young boy calls Scrooge when he asks him to go and buy the Goose from the butchers at the end of the film because it sounds like he calls him a w******!