If you’re like my family at Christmas, TV plays a big part in the festive period. There’s nothing better than putting new PJs on, having a box of chocolates and watching some good quality content. Here’s a list of this year’s must watch Christmas TV Specials.
Mary, Mel & Sue’s Big Christmas Thank You
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the iconic bake-off stars graced our screens together. mary berry, mel giedroyc and sue perkins unite for a festive feast as they descend on south Wales to sprinkle some Christmas joy on an area which has come through tough times. The trio will put on a magnificent party at the local community centre complete with all the usual trimmings.
Sunday 24th December @ 7pm
Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show
Michael McIntyre pulls out all the stops for this week’s Midnight Game Show, featuring the likes of Ainsley Harriott, Alisha Dixon and an extremely appropriate guest for the Unexpected Star of the Show spot.
Sunday 24th December @ 8:30pm
The Highway Rat
One for the family, The Highway Rat will be airing on the BBC this Christmas, a 30-minute animation of the popular children’s story by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler. Former Doctor Who star David Tennant will lead the voice cast, bringing his native Scottish accent to the eponymous rat and will be joined by Rob Brydon (as the narrator), The Night Manager’s Tom Hollander (Squirrel), Love Actually’s Nina Sosanya (Duck), and Harry Potter’s Frances de le Tour (Rabbit). The story follows a ravenous rat bandit who craves buns, biscuits and all sweet things. He demands them from passersby with the shout, “Give me your pastries and puddings! Give me your chocolate and cake! For I am the Rat of the Highway, and whatever I want I take!”
Monday 25th December @ 4:45pm
Doctor Who Christmas Special
It’s the big one that Whovians have been counting down until. Peter Capaldi bids farewell to the Tardis in what is sure to be an emotional finale for his Thirteenth Doctor as he regenerates into Jodie Whittaker – the first female incarnation. Christmas will also see showrunner Steven Moffat hand over to Chris Chibnall, with the Broadchurch creator expected to pen Whittaker’s opening lines.
Monday 25th December @ 5:30pm
Strictly Come Dancing Final and Christmas Special
The remaining four Strictly stars will battle it out for the coveted Glitterball in a bid to succeed Ore Oduba as Strictly champion. Plus, stars of Strictly past – including former Radio Times columnists Judy Murray and Jeremy Vine – will compete in a festive special.
Monday 25th December @ 6:30pm
Call The Midwife
2017’s festive special of Call The Midwife is a much chillier affair compared to last year’s trip to South Africa, showing the sisters in the thick of 1963’s Big Freeze – one of the coldest winters on record. EastEnders legend Anita Dobson guest stars as the adverse weather causes major disruption across Poplar.
Monday 25th December @ 7:40pm
What a year it’s been on the square. An increasingly deranged Max has murder in mind, seeking revenge on Ian and Phil, but it’s the Brannings themselves – our central characters of this year’s festive spectacular – who will ultimately be left in bits.
Exists are confirmed to take place this week as well as the promise of Max’s “ultimate downfall in an apocalyptic scale that will destroy the Branning family forever”.
Meanwhile over in Walford’s iconic pub, Mick and Linda look set to lose their beloved Queen Vic but pledge to make their last year in Albert Square their best yet by throwing everything into their vow renewal. Get excited!
Christmas Eve @ 8pm, Christmas Day @ 9pm (hour special), Boxing Day 7:30pm
Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special
Mammy’s back for her now-traditional December specials. Among this year’s hilarities are Agnes’ special Christmas tree, Cathy’s new internet date, Father Damien’s Neighbourhood Watch and Rory’s plastic surgery
Monday 25th December @ 10pm
300 Years of French & Saunders
Can you believe it’s been three decades since national treasures Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders first teamed up – and to celebrate they’ve filmed some brand new material for a special 300th (sorry, 30th) anniversary clip show that will also feature greatest hits and never-before-seen footage. Expect a special appearance from Saunders’ Ab Fab co-star Joanna Lumley.
Monday 25th December @ 10:35pm
Cannonball Christmas Special
A festive edition of the wacky show which challenges its players to take on a course of water-based obstacles.
Sunday 24th December @ 4pm
A Christmas Chase: Celebrity Special
Bradley Walsh hosts a very special edition, as all five chasers try to catch Patti Clare, Matt Richardson, Kirsty Wark and Jimmy Osmond.
Sunday 24th December @ 5:50pm
All Star Musicals
West End legend Michael Crawford will be teaching stars how to sing and dance in a brand new ITV celebrity contest, hosted by Freddie Flintoff.
Sunday 24th December @ 6:40pm
Robert faces a bizarre journey as he wakes up in several different realities. As he faces up to the events of the past year, will his Christmas Carol like experience give him an epiphany? Elsewhere, Aaron’s mind is elsewhere as he and Alex attend the Dingles’ for lunch.
Monday 25th December @ 5:50pm and Tuesday 26th December @ 6:10pm
What would Christmas be without a santa’s sack full of drama over at Weatherfield? Carla returns to the street on the blessed day but makes it clear that she hasn’t changed her mind about the factory. Johnny tells Carla that Aidan stands a good chance of making a go of the factory, so she takes her brother to one side. Has she had a change of heart? Elsewhere, an iconic Corrie couple rekindles their love but will they have a happy ever after?
Monday 25th December @ 8pm and Tuesday 26th December @ 9pm
Maigret in Montmartre
Maigret (Rowan Atkinson) investigates the random murders of a countess and a showgirl, and discovers a dark secret that links their past lives at the Grand Hotel in Nice.
Christmas Carols on ITV
Alfie Boe leads the congregation of St Elisabeth’s Church in Greater Manchester in a traditional Christmas Eve carol service, with festive performances from Nadine Coyle, soul singer Alexander O’Neal and more.
Sunday 24th December @ 11:45pm
Paul O’Grady for the Love of Dogs at Christmas
Heart-warming stories of homeless pets, with plenty of touching tales from Battersea Cats and Dogs home.
Monday 25th December @ 7pm
The Vicar of Dibley
A British classic when it comes to comedy, Geraldine unwisely agrees to attend three slap-up Christmas lunches.
Sunday 24th December @ 10:30pm
The Two Ronnies Sketchbook
Speaking of classics, Messrs Barker and Corbett reunite in this 2005 special to reflect on their long careers.
Sunday 24th December @ 11:15pm
Set in Christmas 1846, the episode sees Victoria (Jenna Coleman) uncharacteristically melancholy as she prepares to tackle her first Christmas without her beloved Baroness Lehzen. Meanwhile, Albert (Tom Hughes) is obsessed with staging the perfect family Christmas, transforming the palace into a magical festive wonderland.
Monday 25th December @ 9pm
On Christmas Eve a young boy decides to make a snowman. During the night, it comes to life…
Sunday 24th December @ 5:20pm & Monday 25th December @ 12:45pm
The Snowman & The Snowdog
The follow up story of The Snowman and the adorable Snow dog.
Sunday 24th December @ 5:55pm & Monday 25th December @ 1:20pm
A 1991 animated short based on two books written by Raymond Briggs – Father Christmas and Father Christmas Goes on Holiday. The story follows what the big man himself gets up to the other 364 days of the year after his annual delivery trip around the world.
Monday 25th December @ 1:55pm
Child Genius v Celebrities Christmas Special
Richard Osman presents a Child Genius festive special as four of the show’s most formidable past competitors take on four of the country’s finest celebrity minds – comedian Rob Delaney, Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, comedian Dom Joly, and journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter.
Sunday 24th December @ 8pm
Britain’s favourite opinionated TV viewers share their critiques of the year’s biggest and best shows, including Strictly Come Dancing, The One Show, The Crystal Maze, Doctor Foster and much more.
Sunday 24th December @ 9pm
The Alternative Christmas Message
If you’re not a royalist, You may rather watch someone else give a Christmas Day broadcast.
Monday 25th December @ 2:30pm
The Great British Bake-Off
After a successful first series on Channel 4, Paul, Prue, Sandi and Noel are back and serving up a mouth-watering selection of former bakers for our entertainment. Among the returnees are Val, Selasi, Benjamina and Rav. A Christmas treat for us all!
Monday 25th December @ 7:40pm
Miranda Does Christmas
It’s been a long while since Miranda Hart was last on our TV screens! But make a note in your diaries – she’s back, this time on Channel 4, with what is promised to be a “raucous Christmas party with some very special guests” and tips to ensure we survive the festive period.
Wednesday 27th December @ 9pm
What are you looking forward to watching over Christmas?
Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.
Thank you for the heads up about the kids films – our two watched them and loved it! And EASTENDERS!! What a shock that was..
Mary, Mel & Sue’s Big Thank You was absolutely amazing wasn’t it? Really enjoyed! And the Victoria episode was SO CHRISTMASSY!