Christmas 2012: best TV on today, Tuesday 25 December

Room on the Broom, Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Royle Family


Room on the Broom – 4:35pm, BBC1


A charming animation of Julia Donaldson’s popular children’s book, with a star-studded voice cast including Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams, Timothy Spall and Simon Pegg. A kindly witch is joined on her broom by a motley crew of animals, much to the annoyance of her cat. Read our interview with Julia Donaldson.

Doctor Who – 5:15pm, BBC1

The Doctor returns for a snowy adventure set in Victorian England. Earth is being attacked by giant snowmen and the Doctor is the only one who can save the planet but, since the demise of the Ponds, he’s become a shadow of his former self. Richard E Grant and Ian McKellen star alongside Matt Smith and the Doctor’s new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman… Read our preview.

Strictly Come Dancing – 6:15pm, BBC1

Strictly’s back for its annual Christmas extravaganza. This year six new faces – Helen Skelton, Katy Brand, Bobby Ball, Sheila Hancock, Jonathan Gill and Fabrice Muamba – are joined by returning stars Chelsee Healey, Rachel Stevens, Tom Chambers, Chris Hollins and Kelly Brook. Ann Widdecombe and Russell Grant are also rumoured to be making an appearence, and Rod Stewart will be performing a rendition of Let It Snow.

Call the Midwife – 7:30pm, BBC1

The hit 2012 drama returns for a one-off festive special. It may be Christmas, but working life in poverty-stricken east London continues as normal until one of the nuns finds an abandoned baby on the steps of the convent. While the search is on to find out who left him there, Chummy puts on a nativity play and Jenny tries to help a lonely old lady. See preview pictures.

Downton Abbey – 8:45pm, ITV1

There are no Christmas trees, carols or snowflakes in this year’s Christmas special. Instead, the Crawleys are off on their summer holidays visiting naughty Rose’s parents in the Scottish Highlands. While Edith stumbles upon her besotted editor, back at the Abbey love is in the air for Branson and Mrs Patmore too (but don’t worry, we don’t mean with each other…) Read our predictions for the Christmas special.

The Royle Family – 9:45pm, BBC1

After a Royle Family-free 2011, fans will be pleased to see the couch potato clan back on our screens. This Christmas Barbara goes overboard buying presents from the pound shop, Joe places a lonely hearts ad and Dave has a entrepreneurial brain wave.

Also on today…


Top of the Pops – 2:00pm, BBC1; Arena: Sister Wendy and the Art of the Gospel – 5:25pm, BBC2; Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs – 6:00pm, ITV1; Coronation Street – 7:30pm, ITV1; Blackadder’s Christmas Carol – 8:00pm, BBC2; EastEnders – 8:45pm, BBC1; The Choir: a Year with the Military Wives – 8:45pm, BBC2; Alan Carr: Chatty Man – 9:00pm, Channel 4.